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Love Reading? Make Sure Your Children Do, Too

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the number of books found in a home and the longterm success of the children who grow up there.

Reading to your child—even before they can understand the words you’re saying—helps children make neurological connections; increases their cognitive ability; strengthens the relationship between you and your child; and more.

At, Jenny Silverstone offers “The Ultimate Reading Guide for Your Child.”

As writers, we all want our children to become voracious readers. Ms. Silverstone offers practical tips to make sure your children love books—and the time to introduce books to your children is probably sooner than you think!

Check out the infographic below. You can learn more about the benefits of reading to your kids and how to get them interested in books at Mom Loves Best!

Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, Read this Book

Every author dreams of the moment they’re offered a book contract for the first time. But copyright law can befuddle even legal experts.

Before you sign that contract, make sure you’re as prepared as possible for just what you’re signing on for—and what you’re signing away.

The new book Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts from Authors Alliance is designed to “help authors make sound decisions about the terms of their book publication contracts.”

Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts identifies clauses that frequently appear in publishing contracts, explains in plain language what these terms (and typical variations) mean, and presents strategies for negotiating “author-friendly” versions of these clauses. When authors have more information about copyright and publication options for their works, they are better able to make and keep their works available in the ways they want.

The guide is designed to help authors to:

  • Learn about the basics of copyright law, and how copyright shapes the author-publisher relationship;
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of assigning and/or licensing their copyrights;
  • Understand the responsibilities of authors and publishers in preparing, designing, and marketing a book;
  • Clarify financial matters such as advances, royalties, and accounting statements;
  • Consider options for making their books available to readers in the short and long term;
  • Advocate and negotiate for contract terms that help them meet their creative and pragmatic goals;
  • And much more!

This book is available in print and as an e-book.

Order the print edition today, and enter the code CONTRACTS2018 to get free shipping (for a limited time only)!

We’re in Oxford American!

It’s something music fans and readers of Southern literature look forward to each year: the annual Southern Music Issue from Oxford American, when the distinguished magazine highlights the music of one Southern state.

This year’s issue is devoted entirely to North Carolina (with Nina Simone on the cover!), and if you haven’t already done so, stop reading this article and click here to order up yourself one.

Each music issue comes with a compilation CD and a code to download the compilation plus bonus tracks as MP3s.

We wanted to be part of the celebration, so you’ll find our full-page color ad on page 47, right smack-dab in the middle of a terrific profile of folksinger Etta Baker, written by Rebecca Bengal.

Other highlights include:

  • Wiley Cash on Ella May Wiggins’ 1929 song “Mill Mother’s Lament”
  • Michael Parker on Rudy Johnson’s 1967 song “Don’t Play that Song (You Lied)”
  • 2018 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Randall Kenan on the 1957 Coltrane/Monk track “Crepuscule with Nellie”
  • 2018 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle on “Beach Music”
  • Zachary Lunn, winner of our first (2018) Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, on Fort Bragg in winter
  • Jonathan Lethem on the Winston-Salem band the dB’s
  • OA editor Maxwell George—a North Carolina native—on “Ryan Adams, Thomas Wolfe, and Leaving Home”
  • Nickole Brown writes “Hellbender”
  • Tyree Daye pens “The World Grows”
  • And a whole lot—and we mean a WHOLE LOT—more

Founded in 1992 in Oxford, Mississippi, The Oxford American is a quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South.

They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that shows the South in all its myriad contradictions and beauties.

Subscriptions are only $39 a year. Click here to subscribe.

The 2018 NC Literary and Historical Association Awards

(L to R) Jaki Shelton Green and Georgann Eubanks © Margaret D. Bauer

On Friday, October 26, in a ceremony in Greenville, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association honored their 2018 award recipients.

The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, established in 1900, is among the oldest organizations of its kind in the nation. For more than a century, they’ve worked to tirelessly to promote the Office of Archives and History and its work, and continue that legacy today by helping to support the diverse programs of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Their annual competitions aim to promtoe interest in North Carolina literature.

Here are the 2018 award recipients:

Roanoke Chowan Award for Poetry:
Heather Ross Miller, Women Disturbing the Peace. Hammond, LA: Louisiana Literature Press, 2018.

American Assoiciation of University Women North Carolina Young People’s Literature Award:
Carole Boston Weatherford, Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2018.

Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction:
Jerry Gershenhorn, Louis Austin and the Carolina Times. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.

Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction:
Wiley Cash, The Last Ballad. New York: William Morrow, 2017.

Current North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green received the R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to the literary life of North Carolina.

Eddie Swimmer © Margaret D. Bauer

Cherokee dramatist Eddie Swimmer received the Hardee Rives Award for significant contribution and service to the Dramatic Arts in North Carolina.

Both annual and lifetime memberships in the N.C. Literary and Historical Association are available.

Members receive the North Carolina Historical Review, the journal published by the Office of Archives and History since 1924, and the annual issue of the North Carolina Literary Review, published by the English Department of East Carolina University with the support of NCLHA since 1992.

Members also receive invitations to members-only functions and receive discounts ranging from 10 to 25 percent on the registration and ticket costs of most public programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the Association and on selected publications issued by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

For more information, visit

Michael McFee Among Recipients of NC Award

On Friday, November 16, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will present the 2018 NC Awards in a ceremony at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The ceremony begins at 7:00 pm; tickets are still available here.

The state’s highest civilian honor, the North Carolina Award, will be presented to six distinguished North Carolinians. The 2018 honorees are Carolyn Q. Coleman of Pleasant Garden for Public Service; Bill Leslie of Cary for Fine Arts; Michael A. McFee of Durham for Literature; Barbara B. Millhouse of Winston Salem for Fine Arts; Gene Roberts of Bath for Public Service; and William L. Roper of Chapel Hill for Public Service.

Michael McFee is an institution in the UNC-Chapel Hill English Department, where he has taught since 1990. The author of sixteen books, McFee has published eleven volumes of poetry, two essay collections, and is the editor of several anthologies of North Carolina literature. McFee is a distinguished writer and poet whose celebrated works include Vanishing Acts and We Were Once Here. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for Literary Achievement, and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. McFee is a devoted teacher, mentor, and dedicated champion of the literary culture of North Carolina.

On June 22, 1961, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Awards, the highest civilian honor the State of North Carolina can bestow.

Past recipients in literature include NC Literary Hall of Fame inductees Betty Adcock (2014); A.R. Ammons (1986); James Applewhite (1995); Doris Betts (1975); Fred Chappell (1980); Burke Davis (1973); John Ehle (1972); John Hope Franklin (1993); Jaki Shelton Green (2003); Paul Green (1965); Allan Gurganus (1999); Randall Kenan (2005); Margaret Maron (2008); Jill McCorkle (1999); Joseph Mitchell (1984); Robert Morgan (1991); Penelope Niven (2004); Guy Owen (1971); Frances Gray Patton (1970); Reynolds Price (1977); Sam Ragan (1979); Glen Rounds (1981); Louis Rubin, Jr. (1992); Lee Smith (1984); Shelby Stephenson (2001); Thad Stern, Jr. (1974); and Manly Wade Wellman (1978).

Other recipients include NCWN trustee Dr. Margaret D. Bauer (2017) and former NC poet laureate Joseph Bathanti (2016).

To learn more about the NC Awards, click here.

For tickets to Friday’s event, click here.

Vote for Our Fall Conference!

The Writer magazine is on a “hunt” to find their readers’ favorite writing conferences across the U.S.

Because we have no shame, we’re just going to come on out and ask: will you vote for the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) Fall Conference?

To vote, click here.

If you’ve been to a Fall Conference and take a class that blew you away; if you’ve been inspired to carve out more time for your writing; if you’ve met fellow writers who will help you on your journey at any of our Fall Conferences, please vote.

It looks like The Writer will list their readers’ favorite writing conferences in every state in their upcoming Writing Conferences & Festivals issue. So, it sure would be grant to see our Fall Conference representing the Tar Heel State.

Thank you!

The Best Way to Thank Us

By Ed Southern, Executive Director
North Carolina Writers’ Network

Pre-Conference Tailgate at UNC-Charlotte

More than 200 of you came to our 2018 Fall Conference this past weekend, and we thank you for that.

Most of you 200 approached me, Charles, or Deonna during the conference—or sent us an e-mail afterwards—thanking us for a weekend that you found stimulating, if not downright inspiring: a weekend of classes, readings, performances, and fellowship. We thank you for that, too, because we work hard to give you that sort of Fall Conference, and we can’t tell you how much it means to us to know we’ve succeeded.

(But we can tell you how to make it mean just a little bit more.)

While we love it when you tell us how much you got out of the Fall Conference and your Network membership, we love it even more when you tell other people.

If you thought the Fall Conference was just what your writing needed, have you told all your writing friends?

If you think your Network membership is a valuable part of your creative journey, have you told your literary community?

We rely on you, our members, for our two biggest sources of income: member dues, and conference registrations.

We rely on you, too, to help us grow—by sharing with your fellow writers your excitement, the lessons you learned, the tips you picked up, the inspiration you found.

If you really want to thank us for a great Fall Conference, then please—please—share our website,, with all your writing friends, your critique groups, your book clubs. Encourage them to become Network members, or to give gift memberships to fellow writers for the holidays. Tell them to put Saturday, April 27, 2019, on their calendars, so they’re sure not to miss the Spring Conference.

Thank you for making our 2018 Fall Conference such an energetic place for a writer to be. Thank you for being a part of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Thank you most of all for helping the Network serve even more writers, all across this state and beyond. We can’t wait to see you in the spring.


Ed Southern
Executive Director
North Carolina Writers’ Network

Fall Conference App Ready to Roll

A map of nearby restaurants is one handy app feature….

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Fall Conference runs November 2-4 in Charlotte—which means we open in just a few days!

We’ve developed an “app” to help you better navigate the conference and enjoy all the programs.

We say “app” because you don’t need to download anything to you phone. Instead, simply visit:

from your mobile device, and the website will behave just like any conference app, providing the daily schedule, links to exhibitors and spnosors, a link to our Member Survey (we want your feedback about our website!), area attractions, and more.

If you haven’t yet registered for Fall Conference, pre-registration is closed. However, on-site registration opens Friday, November 2, at 3:00 pm in the lobby of the Hilton Charlotte University Place.

For more information about Fall Confernece, visit our app!

Or click here.

New Date Announced for NC Poet Laureate Installation

Jaki Shelton Green, © Matt Waehner

Jaki Shelton Green will be installed as the new North Carolina Poet Laureate on Monday, December 10, at 4:00 pm.

The event takes place at the State Capitol, 1 East Edenton St., in Raleigh.

Seating begins at 3:30 pm, and the program will start at 4:00 pm, with a reception to follow.

Please note that the State Capitol will still be open to the public during the ceremony, so guests are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to find parking, go through security, and register.

Please enter the East Portico of the Capitol. North Carolina Arts Council staff will greet you and provide directions to the ceremony.

Green is the first African American and the third woman to serve as the state’s ambassador for poetry and the spoken word. She will be installed during a public celebration later this summer. Green succeeds fellow North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Shelby Stephenson, who was named poet laureate February 2, 2015.

A native of Orange County, Green has been active in North Carolina’s literary and teaching community for more than forty years. She has penned eight books of poetry, co-edited two poetry anthologies and written one play. She is a 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and was the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2013.

Green currently teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. She has taught poetry and facilitated creative writing classes at public libraries, universities and community colleges, public and private schools and with literary organizations across the U.S.

“I am deeply touched to be named poet laureate,” Green said. “To serve as North Carolina’s representative for poetry and the spoken word is a tremendous honor.”

She plans to focus her efforts on the creation of documentary poetry, working with North Carolina communities to explore the ways they document their unique regional histories and significant historical events.

Here is a list of nearby parking decks:

Alexander Square Parking Deck (555 feet SE)
Wilmington Station Deck (695 feet SE)
Green Square Parking Deck (765 feet NW)
Municipal Building Deck (0.21 miles SW)

And nearby parking lots:

NC Museum/Government Center Parking (816 feet NE)
127 E. Hargett St Parking Lot (836 feet SE)
125 Hargett St Parking Lot 12 (950 feet SE)
Long View Center Parking (1046 feet SE)

See you there.

Hotel Options Abound for Fall Conference

There are no more rooms available at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, the site of the 2018 North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference, November 2-4.

However, there are nearby hotel options to fit a variety of price points. Please note, rates vary, and may be different from what we list below.

Across the street from the conference venue, the Holiday Inn Charlotte University has room starting at $138 a night. This is the sister property of the Hilton.

Additional accomodations less than 1/2 mile away from the conference venue include:

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Fall Conference offers a full weekend of sessions and workshops on the craft and business of writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and writing for stage and screen. Additional programming includes open mics, faculty readings, a launch party for National Novel Writing Month, and a staging of Ian Finley’s new play Native, followed by a panel discussion.

Pre-registration is open through Friday, October 26, here.