Sunday, October 4, 2015
Friday, September 5, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
This brought to mind my own work as teacher, mentor and writer. In recent months I have seen bitter conflict, ugly accusations and even have fallen prey to my own fears from those who imitate what we in NCWN West have accomplished in the past twenty plus years.
Many, many writing events have been held and sponsored by NCWN West including all day conferences from Lake Logan in Haywood County to Blairsville, Georgia. We have held three-hour workshops at the Senior Center in Hayesville, at church fellowship halls, and in the libraries. Netwest has sponsored visits from some of the best writers and poets, all who have added to the success of local writers.
Netwest sponsors four events every month in the Cherokee, Clay and Towns County area. Two counties, Henderson and Transylvania, have begun free open microphone events for writers, set up by Netwest Representatives and sponsored by NCWN West.
I think of the North Carolina Writers Network, our state literary agency, as the parent of all of us and NCWN West (Netwest) as the oldest child. Beginning with Marsha Warren, Nancy Simpson, Kathryn Byer and others, models were set up that served writers in the southwestern part of North Carolina and neighboring states.
Under the umbrella of the state, Netwest organized events for local poets and writers. Although this was not so long ago, it was a time before the Internet and instant messaging. Thank God for the telephone and newspapers.
In the past decade, communication changed and with these changes, our world as we knew it changed. Suddenly writers found other writers in their own towns, in their own neighborhoods, and even around the world. Writing groups began to form such as the Winston-Salem Writers. They began holding events within their region similar to what we had been doing in the mountain area. With the opportunity to go online, create a website, an organization could quickly be born. Some of them last, some don’t.
Because NCWN supports and serves all writers in North Carolina, it doesn’t deny any group and even promotes their events when asked. Small groups of like-minded writers have discovered each other through Facebook, Twitter, and other online systems.
Where do leaders of these groups get their ideas? Often from NCWN and from Netwest. Netwest has been called, in the past, the star of the Network. Ed Southern, Executive Director of NCWN, admits he liked the way Netwest appointed county representatives to reach writers throughout the region. He used that concept when he began appointing regional reps for the Network and found it to be an excellent way to serve members and non-members.
Now it seems we have other imitators setting up in the Netwest region. Again, we should be flattered. It shows we, our leaders in Netwest, have done a great job and continue to do good work in the far western mountains.
Recently a woman in another town told me she was thinking of copying my idea of holding writing classes in my home studio. She needs a chemically free environment as I do, so why shouldn't she?
Our first inclination when we hear of people usurping our ideas, our successful ventures, might be anger. “How could they?” We might resent the way it is done. But on more careful thought, we have to realize that through unity we can reach more people, do more good and be more successful ourselves.
Competition has never come between us in Netwest. As J.C. Walkup said in a recent post on our former website, this group of writers does not compete against each other. Instead we help each other to succeed. In my opinion, it is wrong to bash an organization, or try to undermine it, especially if you are a member. Far better to simply drop out or never join.
Thankfully, the reputation of inclusiveness of NCWN West precedes us throughout the region and the state. We are here to serve writers according to our mission statement. If you haven’t read it, please visit our website: www.ncwriters-west.org and learn all about us. If you live in a far away place, feel free to copy our concept and serve writers in your area.
Imitation is, indeed, the sincerest form of flattery.
These opinions are those of Glenda C. Beall, former Program Coordinator for NCWN West. She holds writing classes at her home studio. Read more at www.glendacouncilbeall.blogspot.com
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
As writers in North Carolina it helps us to read about what is happening in our government that affects us and our parent organization, North Carolina Writers Network. We have an active and supportive Arts Council which needs our support as literary artists.
As writers we often become self-absorbed and expect to receive much but don't give much back in return. I enjoy visiting the website of the NC Arts Council and the site of NCWN. I learn about other writers in our state and what is happening in the literary world.
Here in the mountains we sometimes feel isolated, but we don't have to be. We can reach out to writers across the state. I enjoyed a recent email exchange with our former Haywood County Rep, Al Manning who is on the Board of Trustees for NCWN. He lives in Pittsboro now and we discussed how the writing world has changed no matter where you live. He holds Writers Morning Out in his area to keep everyone connected. We all yearn for those good times we have when we like-minded people can gather and talk about writing. We learn from each other and how nice it is to help another writer if we get the opportunity.
I urge everyone to visit our writing sites and connect with a writer who lives in another part of the state. In the world of cyberspace today we don't have to ever feel isolated. We simply have to reach out.
- a paragraph description of your book
- author bio
- ISBN#, price, publisher
- title and author
- a jpg image of the jacket
NEW! JOSEPH BATHANTI CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP
When: Saturday, April 20, 2:30 pm
Where: Ashe County Public Library, 148 Library Dr.
Contact: Karen Moll at email@example.com or 336-384-4255
Dr. Joseph Bathanti, professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone and North Carolina’s Poet Laureate, will conduct the workshop for adults and high school students interested in developing their writing skills. The workshop is part of a daylong celebration of events at the library.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Tonight I sat with Robert S. King and Carole Thompson at a book table upstairs in the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The room was small, but besides our long table loaded with Robert's many poetry books, copies of Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Now Might as Well be Then, my poetry chapbook and Carole’s new book, I think 8 other writers were displaying their novels.
|Glenda Beall, Scott Owens (standing in back) Robert S. King|
I found that several of them were new in the area. I used this opportunity to tell them about NCWN and NCWN West. I gave out brochures with the application form on them, but the phone number for NCWN on the brochure is incorrect. We need to update our literature.
I feel sure we will soon have three new members. One of them is an author who lives in Macon County NC. I had friended her on Facebook. (Friended- what a weird word) Her name is Linda Rue Quinn, author of The Cyrano Game and another book soon to be in bookstores. She is trying to get some writing events started in Macon County, and I hope she will soon be a member of NCWN West.
|Linda Rue Quinn and her husband|
Meanwhile, I am in bed trying to get rid of the terrible headache I developed from sitting near someone who wore perfume. Having MCS makes it very difficult to attend writing conferences.
I am also ready to get back to Southern Fried Lies by Susan Snowden. So far, I am really enjoying this novel.
Monday, March 4, 2013
a problem or entertain the reader.” Hope Clark
Hope Clark is someone I greatly admire. Her blogs and her newsletters are food for writers, in my opinion. So when she says a blog must either solve a problem or entertain the reader, I know she is right.
My Writers Circle blog is designed to give writers information about workshops and classes and the writers who teach at my home studio. At times, I throw in a post on the craft or my opinion.
Writing Life Stories has been all over the place since the beginning. It has changed in theme and content, but that is because I have changed since the blog was started in 2007. Many of my readers manage a blog or many blogs on various subjects. I understand that a blog concentrated on a theme like quilting, chicken farming, or single mothers raising kids, that discuss the problems and offer solutions is going to have a large audience. Those blogs require a concentrated schedule and plan I think. That might be too much work for me at this time in my life.
How I became a blogger and Netwest Writers was BornIt was fall of 2007 at a panel discussion at a writers conference that I realized what a blog was and what it could do. A young mother had written a book on stay at home moms working from home and she found out she could sell more of her books on a blog than by going through a New York Publisher. On the panel were three other writers who had found success from writing a blog.
I came home and told my husband I was going to learn how to blog, not for myself, but for the writers and poets in our chapter of NCWN. I had taken the job of Program Coordinator for NCWN West. Nancy Simpson and I had often talked about the problem of getting the voices of mountain writers in our area over the ridges and past the ranges into the rest of the world. I believed a blog was better than a website. A website at that time was static and unchanging. A blog gave us freedom to share new material everyday if we wanted. And the blog was free!
I was scared. After all, I didn't know anything about this new technology. Would our members accept this and use it? Would it do what I hoped it would? Soon I was holding classes on blogging and some of our members, Brenda Kay Ledford, Nancy Simpson, Carol Thompson, and Sam Hoffer began their own sites. What pleased me the most was that all of us were beyond the young stage. We were all over fifty. It wasn’t long before Netwest member and Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer created a blog. When she became Program Coordinator for Netwest, she brought readers from everywhere to the Netwest blog.
I have been disappointed that more of our members have not used the Netwest Writers blog. We have a number of authors listed who have the capability to write posts and other members can ask for and get permission to post on the blog. It was created for our members.
I am so thankful, however, that Netwest Writers blog has been successful in promoting our writers and helping them reach across the state and around the world. We have readers from many different countries every day.
Nicki Leone, president of the NCWN Board of Trustees at that time built a website for the state organization and plopped our Netwest blog right on the front page. Since they have thousands of visitors every single day, those visitors saw us here in the mountains, clicked on our blog with little effort and read about our writers and our poets and playwrights. The voices of our writers have indeed reached beyond the mountains.
Where do we go from here?
I hope that other members of Netwest will post articles that appeal to readers. One of our members said the blog had simply become a bulletin board of upcoming events. We need to change that. We need posts that will keep us worthy of exposure on the home page of the NCWN website. We need an administrator who will help keep the blog on the radar of the search engines. Who out there is ready to do that?
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Southern Fried Lies (a novel)
Author: Susan Snowden
Publisher: Archer Hill Publishing
266 pages; soft cover
Available in bookstores and from online booksellers
Told in the clear, strong voice of Sarah Claiborne, a precocious teenager who reads Kafka and Camus, Southern Fried Lies is the story of a well-to-do Atlanta family in crisis.
The Claibornes appear picture-perfect: Edward, a successful architect; Catherine, active in the church and community; four model children. But life at “Tara” is not what it seems. Catherine’s sole focus has always been her oldest son, Ben; it is as if her other offspring and husband are invisible. When Ben suddenly moves away and refuses to communicate with his mother, Sarah becomes the target of Catherine’s wrath. Her father is too busy to help, and when Catherine’s behavior threatens the safety of all her children, Sarah takes on the task of “fixing” her.
The novel is set in Atlanta and New Orleans in the early 1960s.
About Susan Snowden:
An Atlanta native, Susan Snowden has lived in the Asheville area since 1995. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. A grant from the NC Arts Council
supported this project.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
>From July 23–25, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer the 2010 Squire Summer Writing Residency, a full weekend of intensive workshops at Peace College in downtown Raleigh. The Residency is an intimate, affordable alternative to large conferences, and a rare opportunity to create bonds within the writing community.
Sam Ragan Award-winner David Rigsbee, a prolific and erudite NC poet and professor who has been mentored by such luminaries as Carolyn Kizer and U.S. poet laureate Joseph Brodsky, will work with poetry registrants on the problems of “Passion and Restraint in the First-Person Poem,” using examples of persona, authenticity, form, and authority from contemporary poets. This workshop gives registrants the time and focus to pay attention to the details in their work and to stay concrete and clear with language.
Past attendees have said the following about the Residency:
"The entire group brought a sense of community to my writing that I hadn't had before."—Ivy Rutledge
"I found an open, welcoming community of people who immediately accept anyone who has a desire to write."—Karen Price
More information about the Squire Summer Writing Residency can be found at www.ncwriters.org or by calling 336-293-8844.
Administrative Director, NC Writers' Network
PO Box 954, Carrboro, NC 27510
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
2. I have been delighted to give something back to Netwest. We are steadily increasing our membership.
3. I’ve met and discussed Netwest with people throughout NC, and I’ve participated in exciting writing events and spoken to eager audiences of writers.
4. With the addition of Henderson County to our membership, I had the opportunity to meet the writers there, appoint a county representative and play a part in helping them build a writing community.
5. Working with our past and present leaders we revised a set of guidelines, drafted in 2003, which makes Netwest more independent without breaking from the North Carolina Writers’ Network. This was sorely needed.
6. One of the goals I had as Program Coordinator was to reach out to all the counties included in the membership of Netwest and let them know they are Netwest members just as much as members in Cherokee and Clay County.
7. For many years I had heard “we get nothing for our dues” from some members. I was able, in this past year, to give our members several low cost workshops by top writing instructors, to promote the work of deserving writers, to give computer classes to members at low or no cost, to start a Netwest blog and give our members’ work an outlet to the world.
8. I worked as a volunteer at the Spring Conference in Winston-Salem and found that NCWN needs volunteers and will offer an incentive to members who help out. I appreciate Ed Southern and Virginia Freedman giving me the chance to help with registration.
9. I’ve found working with Nicki Leone, President of NCWN, to be a joy and I admire her for her dedication to writers and to writing.
10. In my position as Program Coordinator, I now realize this is indeed a position which requires dedication and commitment. A PC must be visible, be active, and must respond to every phone call and email from members, possible members, writing instructors, from those who have published books, from those who want to publish books, from those who need the address of a fellow writer, from those who failed to check the calendar or just think it is easier to call the PC.
Part of the Program Coordinator’s job is to welcome new members, writers from out of town, make flyers, publicize and set up readings, contact and remind writers of the dates they read. Beg for volunteers to help when needed, work closely with all newspaper editors so they will happily print our news and calendar announcements, raise funds for special projects, and get to know our Indie book stores who are important to us as writers. And do all this with a smile. To many, the Program Coordinator is the face of Netwest.
10. The best part of being a Program Coordinator for Netwest is seeing our image, a mountain writer’s group, become respected and admired throughout the state of NC and beyond.
To see our members succeed and grow as writers, to see their work appreciated by others, to be their voices when they want to share good news, and know that I had some small part in making this happen, this is the best part.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Ed Southern, Executive Director for NCWN, gave the Network a face for writers in Henderson, Transylvania, and Haywood Counties at a meeting at the Henderson County Library on June 16.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Today was a good day, not only for me and for NCWN and Netwest, but I know the writers who came, connected with other local writers will find their lives enriched in the future.
As writers we all need community. We need to talk with other writers, share with other writers and bounce ideas off each other. I see the writers in Henderson county coming together in future writing events. Netwest will be there to help make this possible.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
In my newsletter from the Tennessee Mountain Writers Ms Penners asks what were you doing ten years ago with your writing. I had been a member of the NCWN for two years and I had won a first place in one poetry contest and third place in another. I had four poems in magazines and I was beside myself with joy. Before joining the NCWN I had only published one article in a newspaper and I had edited two newsletters. I had no one to share my writing and didn't know if I had written anything anyone else wanted to read. For me, having a community of writers changed my life. I decided not to settle for hiding my poems and stories away in my desk drawers and file cabinets anymore.
My first Fall Conference was in Asheville at the Grove Park Inn. I was in awe of all the accomplished writers, authors of books, and names I knew from book covers. But that event was such a special thing and a special time for me, that I knew I'd go back when I had another chance. I hope all our Netwest writers will go to big conferences when you have the opportunity. The writers I've met have been warm and giving people who share their difficulties and their successes. I think the NCWN is a terrific organization and Netwest is the most special part of it.