Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fall Conference Pre-Registration Deadline is October 28

Fall Conference happens November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley.  Registration is now open at pre-registration ends Friday, October 28.

With some 200 writers in attendance, as well as dozens of faculty and publishing professionals, the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Fall Conference is the largest writing conference in the state and one of the biggest and most inclusive in the country. It’s a great chance for writers to network, but more importantly, it’s a chance for beginners and bestselling authors alike to focus on writing for an entire weekend and quickly improve their craft.
2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Maron, of

Willow Springs, will give the Keynote Address.
Maron is the five-time Agatha Award-winning mystery writer of the Deborah Knott series, which is set in Johnston County. In 2015, she was given a lifetime achievement award by Bouchercon, the world mystery convention.

Saturday’s luncheon will feature three authors from UNC Press’ Savor the South series: Debbie Moose, Bridgette A. Lacy, and John Shelton Reed. They’ll talk about how good food writing is about so much more than just food.

2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and current NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson will be the featured guest at Saturday night’s banquet. He’ll talk about writing, read some poetry, and most likely strum a little bit on his guitar.

Program offerings include the second annual All Stories Connect panel discussion. This year’s theme is “A Conversation about Culture” with Shervon Cassim, Sheila Smith McKoy, Donna Miscolta, and Elaine Neil Orr. Sunday morning will once again feature the popular Brilliant at Breakfast panel discussion “Agents and Editors,” featuring Michelle Brower of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth; Robin Miura, editor of Carolina Wren Press; Emma Patterson of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.; and Kathy Pories, Senior Editor at Algonquin Books.

Poetry classes include “Image and Narrative” with Guggenheim and NEA fellow Joseph Millar; “Writing Haiku” with Lenard D. Moore, recipient of the 2014 NC Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor; and “The Furniture of the Poem: The Space of the Page and How We Fill It” with Chris Tonelli, poet and owner of Raleigh’s So & So Bookstore.

Fiction writers will choose from a full slate of class offerings including “Minute Particulars” with Raleigh’s Kim Church, whose debut novel Byrd won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize for best debut novel set in the South; “Ending Well: Short Story Endings and Their Lessons” with Clare Beams, author of the forthcoming short-story collection We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books, 2016). Poet, playwright, and arts educator Howard L. Craft will teach “Developing Authentic Dialog”; and Art Taylor, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, will teach “Sharp, Succinct & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Story.”

Other classes focus on some aspect of the publishing industry. Poet, NCWN trustee, and NCWN regional rep for Wake County, Alice Osborn, will teach “How to be a Rock Star at PR”; the Triangle Association of Freelancers will lead the panel discussion on “Freelance Writing 101”; intellectual property attorney Mitch Tuchman will talk to writers about “Copyright Infringement”; Ross White, poet and founder/publisher of Bull City Press, will lead “Grammar Gone Wild”; and Kim Church and Emma Patterson will chat about “How to Work with an Agent.”

Additional offerings will appeal to authors who write across genres: award-winning Young Adult and New Adult author Jen McConnel will ask “YA/NA: What’s the Big Deal?”; Zelda Lockhart, founder of LaVenson Press Studios, will guide attendees through “The Relationship Museum”; award-winning writer and folklorist Eleanora E. Tate will lead a class on children’s writing; and sci-fi writer Ian J. Malone will teach a class called “Beyond Vanity: How Indie Publishing Builds Professional Writers.”

2016 Fall Conference sponsors include March Graham, author of Ashes and Dust; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN regional rep Al Manning; the North Carolina Museum of History; Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author; The 2017 Piedmont Laureate Program; the University of North Carolina Press; and the North Carolina Arts Council.

For more information, and to register, visit
Contact: Charles Fiore, Communications Director, North Carolina Writers' Network,

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Open Mic at City Lights in Sylva, 7 pm, October 28

I'm sorry to be so late posting this...but Friday night, October 28th, at 7 pm, Netwest's Jackson County group is hosting its monthly open mic night at City Lights Bookstore on Spring Street in Sylva.  There'll be desserts and beverages, and signup begins at 6:45.  It's a small, friendly, and supportive crowd--please do come out.

Fair warning and deep apologies, however:  when we scheduled this month's open mic night, we didn't realize that it's also WCU's homecoming weekend.  There'll be a parade down Sylva's Main Street from 6:30 to 7:15, so it's safe to anticipate some parking challenges.  I'll probably try to come in early from the back or river side of town,  park uphill, and have supper at City Lights Cafe (great crepes!) to avoid the crowds.  Others may wish to see the parade and then walk up the one block to City Lights, or to arrive a little late (though I can't guarantee that the parade mightn't run late, too.)  Plan ahead, and please do accept my apologies for not foreseeing this.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Poet & Writer Glenda Barrett to read at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, on Wed. October 19, 2016, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC

Glenda Barrett
Poet and writer Glenda Barrett will read at Coffee with the Poets and Writers, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at 10:30 AM, at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC. 

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia, is an artist, poet, and writer. Her work has been widely published yearly since her first writing class in 1997 and has appeared in: Woman's World, Farm & Ranch Living, Country Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Journal of Kentucky Living, Nantahala Review, Rural Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Kaleidoscope Magazine and many more.

Glenda's poetry chapbook, When the Sap Rises, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. She has completed two more books since that time, a full-length poetry book which is currently under review by a publisher and a book of Appalachian essays. Glenda worked many years in various healthcare system jobs and retired due to a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

She is very grateful to be able to devote her time to the two things she loved as a child, painting and writing. She has two grown children and lives with her husband of forty-two years in the North Georgia mountains.

Coffee with the Poets and Writers is a free event sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network-West. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Glenda Council Beall at 828-389-4441.

Gratton & Jones Featured at Writers' Night, Blairsville, GA

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Poet Maren O. Mitchell's poem "Black Cow", appears in Wild Goose Poetry Review's Online Journal for Summer 2016

Maren O. Mitchell’s poem, “Black Cow currently appears online, in Wild Goose Poetry Review. Mitchell’s poems have been published in Chiron Review, “Waiting on Squirrels,” “Rod Spears, Gigolo,” and “Phillipa Daisy, Dancer”; Hotel Amerika, “T Is Totally Balanced,” and “X Is a Kiss on Paper,”; The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Breath and Bread” a found poem; and The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop, “Shapeshifter” and “Intrinsic.” 

Maren O. Mitchell’s poems have appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, The Lake (UK), Appalachian Heritage, The South Carolina Review, Hotel Amerika, Southern Humanities Review, Skive (AUS), The Classical Outlook, Town Creek Poetry, Appalachian Journal, Pirene’s Fountain, Wild Goose Poetry Review and elsewhere. Her work is included in Negative Capability Press Anthology of Georgia Poetry, The Southern Poetry Anthologies, V: Georgia & VII: North Carolina and Sunrise from Blue Thunder. Poems are forthcoming in Hotel Amerika and Chiron Review. Her nonfiction book is Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide (Line of Sight Press, 2012)  and is available at the Curiosity Shop bookstore in Murphy, NC, and on Amazon.

Mitchell has taught poetry at Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and catalogued at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. In 2012 she received 1st Place Award for Excellence in Poetry from the Georgia Poetry Society. For over twenty years, across five southeastern states, she has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

A native of North Carolina, in her childhood Mitchell lived in Bordeaux, France, and Kaiserslautern, Germany. After moving throughout the southeast U.S., she now lives with her husband in Young Harris, Georgia, on the edge of the national forest.

Brasstown, NC's John Campbell Folk School readings Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, to feature writers Mary Michelle Keller & Lucy Cole Gratton

Mary Michelle Keller
Lucy Cole Gratton
On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM, the John Campbell Folk School and NC Writers Network-West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading held at Keith House on the JCFS campus, Brasstown, NC. This is being held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise notified. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. Poets and writers Mary Michelle Keller and Lucy Cole Gratton will be the featured readers, returning to the Folk School as one of the more entertaining pair of readers.

Mary Michelle Keller has lived in Town County 20 years. It is here that she began to write poetry followed by the natural progression into prose. She is a musician, artist and photographer. Keller says that all those loves give root to her poetry as inspiration. Her poem, As The Deer, published in the anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, was inspired by an old hymn by the same name that she plays on the dulcimer.

Keller enjoys words; moving them around on paper until a poem, short story or essay emerges. She finds pleasure in reading to a few or many, be it her own words or those of others, and says reading at the Folk School is always a treat. Keller always enjoys reading her pieces to locals and students of the school.

Lucy Cole Gratton is a retired CPA who has lived in the Murphy area over 20 years. She received her BA in mathematics from Agnes Scott College, her MEd in secondary math from the University of Florida and her accounting hours from Florida Atlantic University.

Since her retirement she served as Executive Director for the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, Inc for several years and continues to assist with the accounting and tax preparation for the Coalition as a volunteer. She is a member and serves as Treasurer of the Mountain Community Chorus Inc., which rehearses at Young Harris College, presenting a concert each spring and Christmas.

Gratton is a Cherokee County representative for NCWN and a member of NCWN-West. She coordinates the program at John Campbell Folk School for NCWN-West and serves as moderator. Her poems include various topics but predominantly center around her concern for the environments and her home in the woods of Lake Appalachia. Gratton’s writing has been published in various venues but has had limited publication since she writes predominantly for the love of writing, sharing it with family and friends.

Contact: Lucy Cole Gratton, Cherokee County Representative –NCWN-West


Friday, October 7, 2016


The flash fiction contest for NCWN-West members attracted eight writers who submitted a total of 10 short pieces. 

Pat Davis from Brevard, NC volunteered to accept submissions and fees, and forward them to the judges and to Newt Smith, NCWN-West treasurer. 

The winning stories and authors are:

1. Small Talk - Ellen Andrews
2. The Oatmeal Box - Carol R Thompson
3. What Bugs Me - Tom Davis

Congratulations to our winners. 

We want to post the winning stories on this site very soon.

Perhaps we can hold another contest if we have enough interest. Let us know what  you think.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poetry Series seeks students

The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series (GCDPS) is seeking four student poets to be mentored by Distinguished Poet (DP) Pat Riviere-Seel in 2016-2017.

The series, a free program of the North Carolina Poetry Society, pairs an established North Carolina poet with four emerging writers who wish to develop their work:  one from middle grades, one from high school, one from college, and one graduate student or non-student adult.  From December through May, the students and the DP correspond or meet to discuss and work on about a dozen of each student’s poems.  The series includes a GCDPS reading at Western Carolina’s annual Literary Festival in April with this year's Distinguished Poet for the western region, Pat Riviere-Seel, and the opportunity to set up joint readings of the student poets and the DP at the students’ home libraries. 

To apply, students fill out the application form found at the North Carolina Poetry Society’s website,, and e-mail it, with a three-page sample of the student’s poetry, to Dr. Catherine Carter at Western Carolina University (  Poems and application can also be mailed to Dr. Carter at 421 Coulter Building, Department of English, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, 28723. 

Counties included in the western region are listed at .  The application requires the signature of a parent and of a teacher or public librarian for students under eighteen.

Pat Riviere-Seel is the author of two chapbooks: No Turning Back Now (2004) and The Serial Killer’s Daughter (2009).  Her most recent poetry collection, Nothing Below but Air (2014), was a semifinalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The Serial Killer’s Daughter won the Roanoke-Chowan Award  and has been staged by several theatrical groups.  Pat has taught in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program, has been poet-in-residence at the NC Zoo, co-edits the anthology Kakalak, and has worked as a newspaper journalist, publicist, and lobbyist.  She lives in Asheville, NC.

The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series supports the mission of the North Carolina Poetry Society to foster the reading, writing, and enjoyment of poetry across the state.   The GCDPS originated when the NCPS Board voted in 2003 to follow the advice of Fred Chappell, then North Carolina’s Poet Laureate. He had written and advised the NCPS president about various approaches to take in furthering the NCPS mission of encouraging the reading, writing, and enjoyment of poetry. Prior Distinguished Poets have included Mary Adams, Joseph Bathanti, and Brent Martin.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Brenda Kay Ledford's Poem Published

Brenda Kay Ledford's poem, "Ambidextrous," was published in "Wild Goose Poetry Review," summer 2016 issue.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brenda Kay Ledford's Poem Published

Brenda Kay Ledford's poem, "Miss Byrdie," appeared in "Mused BellaOnline Literary Review," fall, 2016 issue.