Thursday, November 27, 2014

Representatives for Netwest do a great job

The goal of the NC Writers Network West is to have at least one representative in each county of our region which includes nine counties south and west of Asheville. That person is given free membership in NCWN as long as they hold an event in their county – an open mic, critique, Writers Night Out, or some kind of gathering for writers and poets that is open to the public. 

Janice Moore and I (Glenda Beall) are reps for Clay County. Janice facilitates the monthly poetry critique group. I facilitate Coffee with the Poets and Writers which meets once each month on Wednesday morning. We have featured readers and open mic followed by a social time.

Karen Holmes and Rosemary Royston are reps for the Georgia counties that border North Carolina. Writers Night Out, a monthly reading, has been a successful venture for several years hosted by Karen Holmes. 

Lucy Cole Gratton and Mary Ricketson are representatives for Cherokee County. Lucy does an excellent job of hosting monthly readings at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The monthly Netwest prose critique group is also held in Cherokee County at the Tri-County Community College.

In Jackson County, Newt Smith and Kathryn Byer share the rep duties
and hold Coffee with a Poet each month at City Lights Book Store.

Henderson County representatives, Lana Hendershott and Patricia Vestal, hold a monthly open mic night that has become very popular with writers there. Having two reps work together and share the responsibility of the event eliminates pressure to always be present. Of course our members are usually happy to be the emcee if the representatives cannot attend. Staci Lynn Bell has volunteered to help with hosting Coffee with the Poets and Writers. She does a great job.

It is not difficult to begin an open mic or other event for writers in your area. Find a coffee shop, restaurant, book store, or any place that will open their doors to the group for an hour. Send out word to all the writers in your area either by contacting NCWN or other writers you know in your county. Post a few flyers at the local library or other writerly places in the area.

Those of us who have been doing this for many years will be very happy to help you get the event off the ground and going strong. An NCWN or Netwest sponsored group has the advantage of being a non-profit and that often eliminates having to pay for a venue.

If a group meets in a coffee house or restaurant, they should all purchase something to eat or drink. That is the courteous thing to do and builds a good relationship with the owner of the shop. Also, tipping the waitress goes a long way in making your group welcome at the restaurant.

We sit and write alone but we need community. We need to be with like-minded people to talk about our craft, to discuss our work and learn from each other. An open mic event might be the first time a budding writer gets up enough nerve to read his/her work out loud to an audience.

There are rules for open mic events and for critique groups that will ensure success. The representative in charge sets these rules and makes them known to anyone who participates. A time limit or word limit has to be set to give all those who sign up an opportunity to read.

A good critique group adheres to certain rules to keep writers from becoming defensive or from being too critical and losing members. We have a set of rules for critique that has worked for twenty years and has enabled local poets to help each other and become published.

Our representatives have done a great job for years. We need more people who will take a lead in their counties and promote the literary arts with an event for poets or writers or both.

We invite our representatives to leave a comment here and tell us what you do and why your events are successful.

Email if you are interested in becoming a rep in a mountain county that doesn't presently have one. We will be happy to help you get started. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Laurence Holden wins Honorable Mention for his poem

Congratulations to Netwest member, Laurence Holden who received an Honorable Mention for his illustrated poem "This Line Drawn" from the C.J. Jung Society of St. Louis, “The Altar of the Earth: Essays Exploring the Intersection of Jungian Thought and Ecology." 

To read more visit here.

Whole Terrain Journal: "Trust the Process: a conversation with artist & poet Laurence Holden"

Whole Terrain Journal, a nationally acclaimed journal of reflective environmental practice, features an interview with Laurence Holden on their blog November 25, 2014:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maren Mitchell's poem in Town Creek Poetry

Visit Town Creek Poetry  and read a poem by Netwest member, Maren O. Mitchell.
Maren is a well-published poet and author of Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider's Guide.

                                                                Kudos to Maren. 

Click on the title of the poem and take time to read all the poets in the new issue of Town Creek Poetry, an online journal, edited by William Wright.

Maren O. Mitchell, poet and author of Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider's Guide

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference will be held November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, in Uptown Charlotte. If you've already registered: thank you! If not, can you really miss an opportunity like this, happening in your own backyard?

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference offers something for almost every writer, at any level of skill or experience. Your best route to getting the most out of the weekend depends on where you are right now as a writer, where you want to go as a writer, and how you want to get from here to there.

Are you a NOVICE writer? Good workshop options for newbies include Chantel Acevedo’s “All Shapes and Sizes: A Workshop on Novel Structure”; “Poetry 101” with Anthony S. Abbott; and “First Impressions in the First Few Pages” with Sarah Creech.

Are you an EMERGING writer? You may want to mix some of the craft workshops—maybe “Poetry and Time” with Julie Funderburk; “Making Their Stories Your Own” with Rebecca McClanahan; or Zelda Lockhart’s “The Mirror Exercise: Producing a Whole Short Work in Less Than an Hour”—with some of the appropriate business-of-writing workshops like Sunday’s panel discussion on “The Many Paths to Publication” with Kim Boykin, John Hartness, and Karon Luddy.

Are you an EXPERIENCED writer? You may be ready to concentrate on the “business of writing” workshops: “The Art of the Pitch” with Betsy Thorpe and Carin Siegfried; “Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign” with Priscilla Goudreau-Santos; “The Many Paths to Publication” panel discussion; maybe even “Creating a Poetry Community” with Scott Owens and Jonathan K. Rice.

And if you're an AUTHOR, well, why not register for the conference just to brag? And of course to enjoy the keynote address by Allan Gurganus; Saturday's luncheon featuring North Carolina's seventh poet laureate, Joseph Bathanti; and Saturday night's annual banquet featuring the inimitable Wilton Barnhardt.

The North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference changes locations each year, in order to better serve the writers of this state. We won't be back in Charlotte until 2018, at the earliest. We don't want to wait that long to see you.

Register now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Who are the writers you need to see read live?

I read an article on 50 Writers You Need to See Read Live and it made me think about all our Netwest writers. How many of us take time to work on our readings so they will entertain our audience and keep them wanting to hear more? How many of us say the work must stand on its on and we don't worry about the presentation?

I noticed in the article that almost every single person listed used humor in his/her presentation. Does that mean we can't read about serious subjects? I don't think so.

Read the original article and see what the author thinks makes a good reader.

Netwest holds open mic and featured reader events in our region. Send us the names of those
you think do a very good job of reading their work.
We can help each other by telling what we enjoy from our writers and poets when they read.
Send your thoughts to me by Email: