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Creative Nonfiction Launches New Website

Creative Nonfiction launched a new website recently, their first in ten years. We’ve been paying special attention to this launch, because in some ways, the launch of Creative Nonfiction’s new site, and their growth over the past decade, mirrors our own—which is why we just wrapped up a beautifully successful fundraising campaign to revamp our own website, among other things.

First, check out the new Creative Nonficiton website here, at www.creativenonfiction.org.

The last time this esteemed literary journal redesigned their website, they only produced a print issue. But….

Over the years, we have gradually expanded with a book imprint, an education program offering online courses and webinars, and another magazine, pocket-size, called True Story—plus our Sunday Short Reads, our conferences, and other activities and opportunities for both readers and writers.

It was a struggle to fit all of these new programs on our old website. Happily, the new website not only integrates and beautifully displays what we do and offer, but provides a real payload to our readers and subscribers.

Sound familiar?

Creative Nonfiction began more than 25 years ago with the first quarterly journal devoted exclusively to creative nonfiction writing, and it continues to set the standard for the genre.

The last time NCWN revamped our website, we did not offer any online classes, much less entire online conferences. We only offered 2/3 of the contests we do now. We had no video or audio archive of past readings, keynote addresses, classes, and more. There was no Prisoner’s Writers Outreach; there was no Instagram; there was no extensive online resource to help our members navigate the business of books.

Because of your generosity, we now have the financial means to build a website that can better deliver these programs and help us accommodate future growth. We’re already working on making it a reality.

So, what do you like about Creative Nonfiction’s new website? What features would you like to see on ours?

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Saturday Is Independent Bookstore Day

Miriam Herin reads at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro

Saturday, April 24, marks the annual Independent Bookstore Day, a day to support and celebrate your local indie bookshop. Many bookstores around the state and beyond will host a full day of events, contests, readings, special offers, and more.

According to the Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance, over 750 boookstores are participating around the country. (Click here for a searchable map to find a celebration near you!) For example, Itinerant Literate Bookstop in Charleston, SC, has tranformed their backyard into a Where the Wild Things Are, COVID-conscious, outdoor sale.

Around the state…

At Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, this celebratory occasion will feature special merchandise and entries to giveaway drawings.

“Independence for us means locally-owned, human-curated, non-book-devaluing-data-mining-algorithm-driven-giant-corporation, community-minded, warm, friendly, smart and sassy, and downright FUN in the most bookish ways!” says Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe. If that’s not enough to get you in the door…what is?

Page 158 Books in Wake Forest will offer exclusive items, giveaways, and a free audiobook with any purchase of $15 or more.

Readers Club members get 20 percent this weekend off eligible books and merch at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh.

Don’t see your local indie listed? Search here or poke around online for what they might have going on.

Not ready to leave your house quite yet? You can order online from almost any bookstore, or order from Bookshop.org, which supports local indie bookstores.

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Friday, Give a Book to Someone You Love

Friday, April 23, is World Book Day, a great excuse to give a book to someone, or the someones, you love. This year’s theme is “To Share a Story.”

World Book Day celebrates William Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) in over 100 countries. It’s a day to revel in the joy of reading, often commemorated by gifting a book to someone close to you. April 23 also is St. George’s Day, traditionally honored in countries such as Spain, for example, with the exchange of gifts, including books and roses, between friends and family, and even colleagues.

Also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, World Book Day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.

The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 to promote reading for fun. As World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck, recalls “We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives.”

In the UK, thanks to National Book Tokens, book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, now distributes more than 15 million £1 World Book Day book tokens to children and young people (that’s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland).

In the UK, they also celebrate World Book Night with readings, conversations, and other literary events. Why not keep the party going a full 24 hours?

Find a local independent bookstore near you on Indiebound, or order online at Bookshop.org.

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Bookmarks Names Jamie Rogers Southern as its New Executive Director

From our friends at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem:

Jamie Rogers Southern

The Bookmarks Board of Directors is pleased to announce that after guiding the organization for six months, Jamie Rogers Southern has been named Executive Director of Bookmarks.

The Board of Directors conducted a nationwide search for an executive director before unanimously approving hiring Jamie, who started with Bookmarks as a volunteer at the 2009 Festival of Books & Authors.

“Jamie was by far the most qualified candidate, and we are fortunate to have her take the helm and lead Bookmarks into the future,” said Barbara C. Raffaldini, the board chair for Bookmarks. “Jamie’s dedication to and love of Bookmarks are evident. Her desire for Bookmarks to be a force for good in our community is inspiring.”

Before becoming Interim Executive Director in October 2020, Jamie worked as Bookmarks’ Operations Director for nine years. She previously served as an education coordinator with the American Booksellers Association, managed an independent bookstore in Alabama, and ran her own events company.

One of Jamie’s main focuses in the coming months will be Book with Purpose, an all-ages and communitywide anti-racism initiative, which is part of Bookmarks’ Books with Purpose programming.

“Everyone deserves the chance to see themselves in books and to know that books exist for them to be inspired, entertained and educated,” said Jamie. “As an organization, we must continue and extend our outreach, getting books into the hands of children and adults, and connecting to people through the life-changing power of story.”

The Book with Purpose anti-racism initiative is scheduled to begin in mid-May and continue through our 16th Annual Festival of Books & Authors, which is scheduled for September, 25, 2021.

Bookmarks is a 501(c)(3) literary arts nonprofit dedicated to igniting the love of reading in our community. We think books connect us, and we want to share joy and inspiration through the life-changing power of story. Everyone deserves the chance to see themselves in books, which is why our outreach focuses on all ages in our community. Through our year-round programs and events, we hope people continue to be inspired, entertained, and challenged by the written word.

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Thank You to Our Spring Conference Sponsors

The NCWN Online Spring Conference 2021 runs April 22-24. We are so grateful for our sponsors who made the event possible.

The MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has traditionally hosted Spring Conference when we’ve held it in-person. This year, they’ve been instrumental in helping us arrange programming. The Master of Fine Arts in creative writing is a two-year residency program with an emphasis on providing students with studio time in which to study the writing of fiction or poetry. One of the oldest creative writing programs in the country, since 1965 the faculty has intentionally kept the program small, enabling students to work one-on-one with faculty in a community of writers.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County supports, enhances, and extends the myriad beneficial impacts of the arts throughout our diverse community, “touching every corner” and advancing the community’s franchise as the “City of Arts & Innovation” and its strategic agenda as a great place to live, work, learn and play. The Arts Council raises and distributes substantial funds through several grant programs and initiatives that have provided over $18 million of funding over the past 10 years.

 

Plottr will sponsor the “Faculty Readings” on Saturday, April 24. Outline faster, plot smarter, and turbocharge your productivity today with the #1 visual book planning software for writers! Plottr helps you:

  • Quickly outline your book with visual story cards
  • Filter your timeline by characters, places, and tags
  • Color-coordinate your storylines to keep them organized
  • Flip the timeline to view it vertically or horizontally

For a free 30-day trial, visit www.getplottr.com.

Press 53 is the sponsor of both Valerie Nieman’s Master Class in Fiction, “Writing Effective Dialog,” and “How to Read Your Work to Others” (Poetry) with Joseph Mills. Press 53 has been finding and sharing remarkable voices in poetry and short fiction since October, 2005, having published more than 200 titles that have earned more than seventy awards. Press 53 has published poetry and short fiction collections by authors from thirty-five states, including six state poets laureate. In 2011, Press 53 established Prime Number Magazine, a free online journal of distinctive poetry and short fiction.

Spots are stil open in Joeseph Mills’ session, but registration closes Monday, April 19, at 9:00 am. Register here.

Finally, the North Carolina Arts Council provides the Network general programming support. For more than half a century, the NCAC has provided resources for arts programming, education, and leadership across the state.

Thanks to all of our sponsors; please help us share our appreciation by checking out books by Press 53 and giving the Plottr software a spin!

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New Ken Burns’ Hemingway Documentary Series on PBS

 

Given that several friends have texted me this week asking if I’ve seen it yet, I may be the last literarian on earth not to have watched the new Hemingway documentary series on PBS, but in case I’m not…

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have teamed up to produce a six-episode series on Ernest Hemingway for PBS. The film is divided chronologically and is available to stream in full on the PBS website (or check your local listings for television air times). The entire film runs just north of six hours, which, let’s give credit where credit’s due, is very efficient—one might even say “Hemingway-esque”—for filmmakers like Burns and Novick whose—just as an example—2017 documentary on the Vietnam War runs 17 and a quarter hours.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Ernest Hemingway is one of, if not the most, influential American writer in history. Still, as the documentary is quick to point out, the myth of Hemingway utterly overshadows the man and, to some extent, his artistic legacy. Author of novels such as The Sun Also Rises (1926); A Farewell to Arms (1929); For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940, recommended for the Pulitzer but never received it); and The Old Man and the Sea (1952, winner of the Pulitzer Prize), as well as myriad short stories we dissected to death in high school and college (“Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”), Hemingway is often associated with brute masculinity, hard-drinking, bull fighting, womanizing, and cats.

“There’s so much to deal with regarding Hemingway. Professionally, there’s the way he wrote, what he wrote, and the impact his writing had on modern literature,” says NPR’s David Bianculli. “Personally, there’s the relationships with women, the misogyny, the alcoholism, the depression—all of which found their way into his stories as well.”

Burns and Novick not only bring literary moments to life, using just the right sounds and images and voices, but also dive into Hemingway’s complicated personal life: The suicide of his father. The upbringing by his mother, who dressed him in girl’s clothes and encouraged his imagination. His experiences in several wars, and finding glory in such macho activities as hunting, deep-sea fishing and attending bullfights. From Paris to Spain, from Key West to Cuba, Ernest Hemingway lived in exotic locales during turbulent times—and wrote about all of it.

Whatever you already know, or don’t know, about Ernest Hemingway and his work—and his life—the new PBS documentary Hemingway is certain to add more to that body of knowledge. And, very likely, it will make you reassess much of it.

Start watching here.

 

 

 

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NCWN Members Get Great Discount for Upcoming Conference

The 11th Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference returns May 5-7, 2021.

NCWN members can save 33% off with code: PARTNER33.

Featuring 15 speakers and content-rich learning sessions, this event is completely virtual. All sessions are delivered via webinar, so you can attend from anywhere—no travel is required! Special guest speakers include don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Martha Beck, discussing lessons from her new book The Way of Integrity.

In addition, you can:

  • Participate in our popular Ask-a-Pro sessions, complimentary one-on-one consultations with literary agents, publishing and marketing pros, and other industry experts, delivered by phone or Skype. Many attendees feel these sessions are worth the cost of admission alone.
  • Apply to participate in our LIVE agent pitch sessions.
  • Access a private, attendees-only Facebook group where you can connect with fellow attendees, industry pros, and speakers.
  • Receive event replay recordings (audio and video) and typed transcripts, depending on the registration level you choose.
  • Add membership in the Nonfiction Authors Association, depending on the registration level you choose.

If you want to sell more books, generate bigger profits, and establish yourself as a top author in your field, this event is for you.

For more information, visit https://www.nonfictionauthorsassociation.com.

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Charlotte Readers Podcast Celebrates 200th Episode

The Charlotte Readers Podcast will celebrate its 200th episode on Tuesday, April 13.

In honor of this special episode, the pod will welcome six-time New York Times bestselling author John Hart. Host Landis Wade will talk with Hart about his new book The Unwilling, which happens to be set in Charlotte.

Listen direct from the website here, or from wherever you get your podcasts.

Also, as part of a month-long celebration, Charlotte Readers Podcast is giving away gifts. Sign up for the podcast e-mail newsletter list, aka The Book Report, HERE by April 12 to be eligible to win.

Prizes include a Kindle, Beats Flex Wireless Earphones, and other prizes. Check website for complete eligibility. Winners will be announced April 13 in the e-mail newsletter, aka The Book Report.

During the month of April, CRP also will welcome two other New York Times bestselling authors: Paolo Bacigalupi, a National Book Award Finalist, and David Baldacci, a lifelong Virginian and author of 42 novels for adults; all of which have been national and international bestsellers.

“Given the fact most podcasts don’t make it past 10 episodes, and given the fact we will hit 200 episodes in 2 1/2 years, and are drawing authors from all over the region, country and world now, I’m proud of what we’ve put together,” Wade says. “In addition to our special guest on April 13, I also have interviews scheduled for release this summer and fall with Ron Rash, Clyde Edgerton, Jill McCorkle, and Wiley Cash.”

Founded in 2018, The Charlotte Readers Podcast is recorded in Charlotte. Host Landis Wade visits with local and regional authors who read from and talk about their work and explore their writing lives. CRP was named Charlotte’s Best Podcast – 2019 by Queen City Nerve.

The website is www.charlottreaderspodcast.com. Follow CRP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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WNC Historical Association Presents Outstanding Achievement Award to Ann Miller Woodford

From our friends at the Western North Carolina Historical Association:

Ann Miller Woodford Courtesy of The Sylva Herald

The WNCHA 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented to Ann Miller Woodford for her work preserving and promoting the history of African American people in far western North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30pm via Zoom.

“It is an honor for the Western North Carolina Historical Association to present this award to Ann Miller Woodford,” said Ralph Simpson, President of the WNCHA Board of Trustees. “She has distinguished herself over many years as a fine historian and sensitive artist. Her work has been essential to telling the story of African Americans in far Western North Carolina. Without her ‘heart work,’ this important part of our region’s history may have gone untold. We hope this award will encourage others to learn more, and care more, about the diversity of all of Western North Carolina.”

New this year, a $1,000 prize, generously funded by the WNCHA Board of Trustees, will accompany the award.

“As an awards committee, we marveled at the work that is ongoing in Western North Carolina to offer a more complete history of our region,” said Catherine Frank, Chair of the Awards Committee. “In this rich environment, the work of Ann Miller Woodford is indeed outstanding. As an advocate, historian, and artist, Miller Woodford makes visible the stories of ‘seemingly invisible’ African American people of western North Carolina. Her work, ‘When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina,’ offers an account that is personal and well-researched, offering stories that are unique and representative. She encourages all of us to record the stories of our elders and to face the complexity of our shared past. We are honored that she will join the list of Outstanding Achievement Award winners.”

The live Zoom webinar is free to attend and will include brief remarks from the Outstanding Achievement Award Committee Chair, Catherine Frank, WNCHA’s Executive Director, Anne Chesky Smith, WNCHA’s President, Ralph Simpson, and Ann Miller Woodford.

The webinar will also include the presentation of the Outstanding Achievement Award trophy and monetary prize as well as a 20-minute film adapted from one of Woodford’s lectures about her publication, “When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina.”

An exhibit of the same name, curated by Ann Miller Woodford, is currently on display at WNCHA’s facility, the Smith-McDowell House Museum in Asheville and runs through the end of June 2021. You can reserve a ticket to visit the exhibit at www.wnchistory.org.

Since 1954, the Western North Carolina Historical Association has presented its annual Outstanding Achievement Award to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of our regional history. Recipients have included Sadie Smathers Patton, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Ora Blackmun, Johnnie Baxter, The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County, the South Asheville Cemetery Association, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

The Western North Carolina Historical Association is a nonprofit organization with a mission of preserving and promoting the history and legacy of Western North Carolina through interpretation, education, collection, and collaboration. For more information about WNCHA, call 828 253–9231 or visit www.wnchistory.org.

For a full listing of the winners since 1954, visit: https://www.wnchistory.org/award/lifetime-achievement-award.

For more about Ann Miller Woodford, visit her website: https://annstree.com.

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It’s National Poetry Month!

Poet Ashley Lumpkin reads at the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference

Today, April 1, is really quite a day. It’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball. It’s April Fool’s Day. And it’s the first day of National Poetry Month, an annual, month-long celebration of all the ways poetry matters.

The Academy of American Poets suggests a few ways to celebrate, including:

We also might suggest:

There are countless ways to enjoy poetry this month, and absolutely no rules. So, let’s celebrate!

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