Writers and poets in the far western mountain area of North Carolina and bordering counties of South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee post announcements, original work and articles on the craft of writing.
Here is a poem from fellow NCWN-West poet, Kathleen A. Stilwell.
Streams of Silence
A river of words flows silently Submerged in a cavern of questions Resting like bone fragments On the sand beneath the flow How did I get older than the president? A decade evaporated Like sea foam in the valleys Hanging in the air like memories.
No longer ripe with potential Now only ripe with hope For a long enough life To be useful Create memories Preserve memories Capture sunlight Save the monarch Feel the waves and particles.
Silent river, whispered phrases. Scratching across the pages Fragments and glimpses Uprooted plans, ambitions discarded Aborted missions, connections unplugged.
Now it seems I'm listening, simply listening For the song of the forest, the chorus from the woods.
What a remarkable organization Marsha
Warren built in western NC in the early 90s. Eight counties with
representatives in each one, counties in bordering states where writers needed a
community, and one person to head the group.
That was twenty years ago, and many of
those early writing groups are still active here in Clay and Cherokee counties.
Because of the program Warren created, beginning writers went on to publish
poetry books, novels and memoirs.
But we are in the twenty-first century and
changes have taken place in society, even here in the Appalachian Mountains.
The under-fifty folks research online, take courses online, seek all kinds of
information from where to publish to how to publish. They find hundreds of
sources for their questions. But there are no guarantees that what they read
online is fact or correct. Recently I read an article on how to prepare a
manuscript. Comments following this article disagreed with half of what the
article said. “Today it is done this way…” “That is the old way. Nobody does
What are we to believe? Confusion reigns
with all the various opinions on the Internet. Without experienced writers
and poets to share accurate information, new writers can spend hours
making mistakes with their submissions and all things concerning getting their
work out to the public, the major goal of most of us. I am asked many times
over and over, how do I prepare a manuscript, can you help me with a cover
letter, what is a query letter and what should I say. Or I am asked, where
can I take a class for beginning writers, is there a class around here for
someone who has retired and is finally ready to begin writing which I always
wanted to do?
NCWN-West has the experienced published
writers throughout the region. We have qualified instructors for all genres.
But how to get the word out is the question now. Few want to travel many miles
to attend an all day workshop, it seems, although the opportunity to discuss
writing, questions and answers, should be a priority. We learn so much from
each other when we get together. But we must beware online groups where some of
the people who give advice are not accurate. I have seen incorrect writing
advice given online to unsuspecting newbies.
The future of NCWN-West, I believe, is
bringing in men and women who have computer expertise. People
who know how to set up meetings on Skype so writers all over the region
can participate in discussion of the best ways to provide local writers with
what they need here in the mountains.
We have a Facebook page for NCWN
West that has been dormant for several years until this week. We
have well-qualified writers who want to teach online classes for NCWN-West
members. But who will make that happen? We need members who understand the
Internet and can help us get those classes online. These are our future
leaders. In ten years there will be new opportunities and we must be ready to
Those of us who worked for many years as
part of NCWN-West are ready to turn it over to perhaps younger, but definitely
energized people who move us forward to the next level. Who will do that?
Help us find those who are willing and able
to carry on our mission, but take us up a step.
Writers’ Night Out features retired Young
Harris College professor, Steven Harvey, PhD, on Friday night, October 9. An
open microphone will follow for those who’d like to read their own poetry or
prose. The event takes place at the Union County Community Center in
Blairsville and is free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available
for purchase. The program begins at 7 p.m., but attendees should arrive by 6 p.m.
if they plan to eat.
most recent book is The Book of Knowledge
and Wonder, a memoir about coming to terms with the suicide of his mother.
It was published by Ovenbird Books as part of the “Judith Kitchen Select”
series.A section of the memoir appeared
in The Best American Essays 2013.He is also the author of three books of
personal essays, A Geometry of Lilies,
Lost in Translation, and Bound for
Shady Grove and edited an anthology of essays written by men on middle age
called In a Dark Wood.Harvey is a professor emeritus of English and
creative writing at Young Harris College, a member of the nonfiction faculty in
the Ashland University MFA program in creative writing, a senior editor for River Teeth magazine, and the creator of
The Humble Essayist, a website
designed to promote literary nonfiction.He lives in the north Georgia mountains.You can learn more about Steven and his work
at his web site:www.steven-harvey-author.com .
Writers’ Night Out
is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West and takes place on the
second Friday of the month, April through November. Prose writers or poets
wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read for
three minutes. In its fifth year, the event draws audience members from four
counties. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf
Course, 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off
Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092.For more information, please contact Karen
Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or email@example.com.