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GREENSBORO—Alan Michael Parker of Davidson has won the 2019 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for his poem “Psalm.” Parker will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

Final judge Jim Whiteside said of Parker’s poem, “In a world increasingly marked by chaos and unpredictability, a poem determined to seek peace is its own kind of haven. 'Psalm' posits a series of conditional statements that unfold beautifully—and those statements are as obsessed with the beauty of language as they are their genuine pursuit of quiet among the noise. What the poet leaves us with in the poem's conclusion is an image of the body that's entirely pure and striking; every time I've read this poem it has sent absolute shivers through me. It's a delightful poem on the level of language and on a human level—the marker of a truly good piece of writing.”

Parker is the author of nine collections of poetry including The Age of Discovery (forthcoming from Tupelo Books), and four novels. The Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson College, he also teaches in the University of Tampa’s low-residency M.F.A. program. He lives in Davidson with his wife, the artist Felicia van Bork.

Whiteside named “My Father’s House Had Wheels” by Annie Woodford as Runner-Up.

Woodford’s first book of poetry, Bootleg, was published by Groundhog Poetry Press this year. Her poetry has appeared in Blackbird, The Southern Review, The Rumpus, The Sewanee Review, Rattle, and Prairie Schooner. A winner of the Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets, she has also been awarded scholarships from the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. A native of Bassett, Virginia—a mill town near the North Carolina border—she now teaches at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.

Whiteside also selected three poems for Honorable Mention: “But First, We Must Eat the Skies” by Michael Boccardo; “Atlanta Braves” by Sandra Ann Winters; and “On Finding Monarch Caterpillars in September” by Kathryn Kirkpatrick.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

StorySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international."

Final judge Jim Whiteside’s debut chapbook, Writing Your Name on the Glass, is forthcoming from Bull City Press this year. His poems have received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned his MFA. Jim’s recent poems have appeared or will soon appear in journals such as Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, and Washington Square Review. Originally from Cookeville, Tennessee, he has recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENVILLE—Katey Schultz of Celo is the winner of the 2019 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for her story “Something Coming.” She will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2020 issue.

Ben Fountain, author of the short-story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara and the novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, selected Schultz’s story, stating, “The experience depicted in 'Something Coming'—that of a young girl's coming of age—rings true at every level. The uncertainty, the excitement, the very real dangers, it's all here, rendered in vivid, nuanced prose that does justice to the complexity and wonder of these several days in twelve-year-old Lauren's life. The voice never falters, nor does the writer's sure handling of exposition and scene. The temporal shift at the story's conclusion is the kind of daring leap that's the mark of a first-rate writer, and serves to, if I might borrow a metaphor from one of this fine story's narrative lines, 'stick the landing.' 'Something Coming' pleased this reader very much.”

Katey Schultz is the author of the short story collection Flashes of War (reviewed in NCLR Online 2014) and the forthcoming novel Still Come Home (Loyola University Maryland). “Something Coming” is part of a short-story collection in progress. She is the founder of Maximum Impact, a mentorship service that provides transformative online curricula for serious writers. Schultz also received the Linda Flowers Literary Award in 2009, and she has received writing fellowships in eight different states.

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short story writer Doris Betts and is sponsored by the nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network, the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

Produced since 1992 at East Carolina University, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations, including five from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals: the Best New Journal award in 1994, the Best Journal Design award in 1999 and 2010, the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement in 2007, and the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement in 2014.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2020 issue, featuring Schultz’s prize story and an interview with Ben Fountain. Go to http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/subscriptions for subscription instructions.

 

WINSTON-SALEM—Founded in 1985, the North Carolina Writers’ Network is a statewide nonprofit with about 1,400 members, located everywhere from Canada to California, and in 77 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

“And that,” said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern, “isn’t good enough.”

This year, the Network is launching its 1 in 100 Campaign: a membership drive not simply to recruit new members in those 23 counties, all of them rural, but to learn how the Network could better serve creative writers in North Carolina’s rural communities.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network, or NCWN, connects, promotes, educates, and leads writers at all levels of skill and experience, working in all creative genres, with all sorts of writing goals, all across this state, and beyond.

“Whether you’re a bestselling novelist like Lee Smith or Ron Rash, or a novice just starting to put pen to paper, the Network offers you something of value,” Southern said.

The NCWN’s programs, services, and resources include its annual Spring and Fall Conferences, the Squire Summer Writing Workshops, five annual writing contests, a year-round Critiquing & Editing Service, online classes in the craft and business of writing, the North Carolina Literary Calendar, and much more. NCWN also oversees the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers Fellowship, and NCWN-West for writers in the state’s nine westernmost counties.

The Network has no criteria for membership, and is open to anyone interested in creative writing. Member dues are $80 a year, with discounts available for writers with disabilities, full-time students, and writers over the age of sixty-five or under the age of thirty.

“Like the state itself, the Network has grown immensely over the last thirty-four years,” Southern said. “But like the state, it hasn’t grown equally or equitably in all parts of the state. Our mission is to serve the entire state, not just its metro areas.

“We hope the 1 in 100 Campaign will help us fulfill our mission, by connecting us with writers we don’t yet know, and figuring out how we can serve them best.”

For more information about the North Carolina Writers’ Network, please visit www.ncwriters.org. For questions and more information about the 1 in 100 Campaign, please contact Ed Southern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 336-293-8844.

 

 
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