Saturday, August 19, 2017

Upcoming Events at Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, North Carolina, August to October 2017

Upcoming Events
Blue Ridge Books
Waynesville, NC

Saturday, August 12   3:00 pm   Author Event with Joan Barris   The King of Underpants Street
In her debut children’s book, author Joan Barris addresses the vulnerability of pre-school children during divorce and remarriage.  This sweet story of one little boy is beautifully illustrated and a springboard for discussion among divorced or divorcing families. The book is currently short-listed in the Gittle List Competition and has received solidly positive reviews.

Saturday, August 26   3:00 pm   Author Event with Michael Beadle   Primer
The book features poems about childhood and family, discovery and disappointment, triumph and heartbreak. Primer was a national finalist in the 2016 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest, sponsored by Main Street Rag.  

Sunday, September 17   3:00 pm   Author Event with Sharyn McCrumb   The Unquiet Grave
The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but Sharyn McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts. Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the defense attorney, a pro-Union bridgeburner, who nevertheless had owned slaves; and the mother of the murdered woman, who doggedly sticks to her ghost story--all seen through the eyes of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century, with his own tragedies yet to come .

Saturday, October7   3:00 pm   Author Event with Bob Plott   Plott Hound Tales: Legendary People & Places Behind the Breed
The Plott hound has reached worldwide fame through the contributions of many colorful characters from the Southern Appalachians.   Author and breed expert Bob Plott reveals the fascinating people and places that have shaped the history of the Plott hound.   The Plott hound has historical roots in Haywood County and is the North Carolina state dog.

Thursday, October 12   Noon   Author Luncheon with Wiley Cash   The Last Ballad
Join us for lunch at The Classic Wineseller for a reading and discussion with Wiley Cash.  The New York Timesbestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel,  set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman's struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice.  
Tickets for this event are $40 and must be purchased in advance at Blue Ridge Books.  The price of the tickets includes lunch and a coupon for $10 toward the purchase of The Last Ballad.  Seating is limited, so come by Blue Ridge Books to pick up your ticket soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Open Mic, City Lights, Sylva, 7 pm, August 18th

It's that time again!  The Jackson branch of NCWN-West is hosting its monthly Open Mic night at City Lights Bookstore tomorrow night, August 18th, 7 pm, with beverages and desserts.  See you there!

Whether writing memoir or fiction, authors need to learn to write dialogue

In classes that I teach, the one thing writers have the most trouble with is dialogue. We know that dialogue is seldom skipped when reading but long pages of text with no dialogue is skimmed over and skipped entirely.

When do we use quotation marks? Where do we put the quotation marks?

Do we use quotation marks when the character is thinking, not speaking out loud? Thinking is internal dialogue. It is best to show what the character is thinking rather than explain his thoughts.

Example: When the doorbell rang, Jack wondered where he should hide the money.
Better: The doorbell rang. Jack dashed around the room seeking a hiding place for the money.

If we use a question mark, do we also need a comma?
“Will you come to my house today,?”  NO NO NO. No comma is needed when using a question mark.

Today I was happy to see one of my students write a half page of dialogue using only two tags. The conversation was between a caller on the phone and the writer. It was easy to follow with only two tags—one at the beginning and one at the end.

Too often we see the “he saids” and the “she saids” over and over.
More often we see the outmoded tags with the adverbs to show attitude.

 “I’m worried,” Jack said nervously.

I ask my students to go through their stories and circle all the “ly” words. We want to use very few adverbs in our writing. Descriptive and active verbs will eliminate the need for adverbs.

Better: “I’m worried,” Jack said, running his hands through his hair, pacing up and down the room.

Good dialogue includes actions and body language, combining activities and showing emotions along with words spoken.
Stella slammed the book on the table. “I can’t do any more homework now.” She walked to the door, looked back and scowled at her mother. “I’m out of here.”

I recommend this book for learning to write dialogue and use correct punctuation.  Purge Your Prose of Problems, a Book Doctor’s Desk Reference by Bobbie Christmas . I receive no remuneration for recommending this book. I do it because it has been an excellent guide for me as a writer and as a teacher. 

Glenda Council Beall, Program Director of NCWN-West and owner of Writers Circle around the Table,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The South Carolina Writers Association announces The "Big Dream" Conference, October 27-29, 2017

The South Carolina Writers Association SCWA (formerly SCWW) is thrilled to announce The BIG DREAM Conference held at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort October 27-29. Learn from Agents: Kerry D’Agostino, Annie Hwang, Michelle Johnson, Peter Steinberg. Editors: Kate Gale, Timothy Green. Authors: Jessica Handler, Emily Lavin Leverett, Luke Whisnant. Add-on pitch/synopsis critiques opportunities. There is also a scholarship available; deadline for the scholarship is 9/15/17. For more information, please visit:

Monday, August 14, 2017

NCWN & NCWN-West Plan Tribute to Kathryn Stripling Byer on October 1, 2017, at the Jackson Co. Public Library, Sylva, NC

Please join North Carolina Writers' Network-West, and the North Carolina Writers' Network in a tribute recognizing the poetry, achievements and legacy of Kathryn Stripling Byer, the first woman poet laureate for North Carolina.


Sunday, October 1, 2017, 2:00 PM


Jackson County Public Library, Community Room, Sylva, NC


Ed Southern, Executive Director NC Writers' Network
Kevin Watson, Publisher, Press 53
Susan Lefler, published poet and friend
Catherine Carter, poet, Jackson County Rep for NCWN-West
Others to be announced, later

We will hear Kathryn read a poem, and hear one of her poems put to music. 

A reception is planned after the program. 


Please contact Glenda C. Beall, NCWN-West Program Coordinator, for more information.

Glenda Council Beall, 828-389-4441