Sunday, November 10, 2019

Jackson County Rep Launches Third Poetry Collection, 6:30 pm, Wednesday, 11/13, City Lights, Sylva

Jackson County Netwest Rep Catherine Carter will launch her third collection of poetry with LSU Press, Larvae of the Nearest Stars, on Wednesday evening, November 13th, at 6:30 pm at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. 

Novelist and poet Ron Rash writes of Larvae, "I’'ve been an admirer of Catherine Carter’s poetry for over a decade, but this collection achieves a whole new level with its craft, vision, and urgency. Larvae of the Nearest Stars makes clear that she is one of our country’s finest poets, and her book deserves a place on the same shelf as collections by Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry. 'I will not cease telling,' Carter tells us in the final poem. May it long be so."  

Macon County Rep to hold meeting at Cowee School

Brent Martin, representative for NCWN-West in Macon County, has set a date and time for the first meeting for writers in Macon County.

November 14th at 10AM, Cowee School in Macon County, NC.

Brent and Angela are moving their business office to Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center at this time.
As you know, Brent and his wife, Angela, own and manage Alarka Expeditions and have been extremely busy this summer. We have 14 members in Macon County from Highlands to Topton.

All writers in Macon County are invited to attend the November 14th meeting whether you are a member of NCWN or not. If you live in surrounding counties and need a writing group, come and see what the future holds for the Macon County writers sponsored by NCWN-West.

I know all of our members want to support Brent and his efforts to make a difference in the lives of writers in his area.  Contact Brent at

Many thanks to all of our county reps in NCWN-West. Everyone does an excellent job. And good luck to Brent and the writers in Franklin and Macon County.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Jackson Rep to Lead Workshop at NCWN Conference in Asheville

Dr. Catherine Carter, the NCWN-West representative for Jackson County, will be leading a workshop in revising poetry for sound, "It Looks Like a Hairball", from 9:00 to 10:30 Sunday morning, November 10th, at the NCWN fall conference at the Doubletree Hilton in Asheville.  27 are currently registered for the workshop, but walk-ins are are welcome as long the the room has space.

Carter will use contemporary poems to discuss a few of the ways in which a poem can be built around the sounds of single words, model one possible process for revising a poem in this way, and encourage participants to do this with their own works. Participants should bring a hard copy of one or two of their own shorter poems (under a page is preferable) to work on.

November Mountain Writers meeting

Charley says the next meeting of the Netwest Mountain Writers in Haywood county is coming up. 

1)  November 8-10 is the fall North Carolina Writers Network conference, at the Doubletree in Asheville (just north of exit 50 off I-40). Merry and I are attending. See some of you others there, perhaps? (check out [programs and services; conferences] if you're interested)

2)  Our November Mountain Writers meeting will be Tuesday the 12th, noon, at Panacea Restaurant (room to the right). Merry and Susanna will talk about the Flatiron Agents thing they both went to.

3)  Then December is Xmas party. Merry asked Tom and Polly to do their He Said/She Said thing at the party. Not clear yet where we'll meet for that. Possibly Panacea for simplicity, but maybe people would like to try somewhere else.

The Netwest Mountain Writers is one of the groups sponsored by NCWN-West. Merry Elrick is the Netwest rep for Haywood County. 
For our many new members, Netwest stands for Network West "NC Writers' Network West".
Charley Pearson and Merry Elrick present excellent programs and many writers throughout the area attend. If you live near enough to drive over, they will welcome you. 
Contact Charley at    

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Book review of Brenda Kay Ledford's "Red Plank House"

Poems read aloud like music in "Red Plank House"

by:  Marcia Hawley Barnes

Reprinted by permission of Editor/Publisher, Becky Long: "Clay County Progress"
                                            Thursday, October 31, 2019

"Red Plank House" poems by Brenda Kay Ledford, opens a door to the present and past, weaving in glimpses of Southern Appalachia.  More specifically, Ledford's poetry is an intimate look at recent history in Clay County, NC and the beautiful lives of some of the territory's settlers, residents, and the author herself.

Ledford's poems read aloud like music.  There is beat, changing rhythms, a pronounced call to the reader to come close and see "sunsets blazing across Shewbird Mountain," where an old red plank house whispers welcome.

Thirty-four poems fill the pages of "Red Plank House" and verses from "Where I'm From" are certain proof that Ledford writes from the heart and her genuine Appalachian background.  "Mama's Love Offering" on the adjoining page sets the mountain dinner table; and "Apples" transport the reader to an orchard in the 1900s.

Inside the cover of "Red Plank House" eagles cut through the Appalachian sky and mourning doves coo with sounds and rhyme that escape prose.  Phantom storms snort and wild geese wend north.

Ledford patterned a poignant poem after Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day."  Titled "The Rock," the author questions our relationship with an inanimate object and draws the reader to look at pain and beauty in a walk that is circumspect.

Author, poet, blogger, Ledford is an acclaimed and well-recognized literary contributor to Southern Appalachia and beyond.  "Red Plank House" is available at:

                                                     Author Brenda Kay Ledford

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sam Uhl of Hendersonville, NC Shares Her News

Radio Interview with The Cheerful Word

Blaine Greenfield, host of Blainesworld on WPVM Radio Asheville (103.7) interviewed Sam Uhl of The Cheerful Word on October 23, 2019 about her work writing and publishing extraordinary stories for everyday people. 

Sam (a.k.a. The Book Doula) discussed how her early life influenced how she became a writer and publisher of memoir. She talked about the many ways she helps people write life story, whether for private family libraries or for profit—starting with as little as an idea or a completed manuscript. Sam described how, through giving voice to your story, you can discover how your life experience has shaped who you are today, and how writing it clarifies who you want to be for all your tomorrows.

Sharing books from her most recently published authors, she highlighted the variety of reasons people write their memoirs and she encouraged us to preserve our legacies while we are still able, just the way we want to be remembered.

Find the complete interview here:

Extraordinary stories for everyday people
Toll Free: 888-899-9218

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Carroll Taylor's Poem published by Your Daily Poem

Congratulations to Carroll S. Taylor. Her poem “Final Wishes" is on 
Carroll lives in Hiawassee, Georgia. She was co-chair for A Day for Writers. She is a retired educator and author of two young adult novels, Chinaberry Summer and Chinaberry Summer: On the Other Side.

Carroll's novels emphasize generational storytelling and anti-bullying, and her stories and poems reflect her affection for reptiles, amphibians, spiders, and other critters. Learn more about her at

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Nov. 8: Last Writers' Night of 2019, Blairsville, GA, 7 pm

Diana Anhalt + Rosemary Royston + Open Mic

Please join us for the last Writers' Night Out of the year!
Diana will read from her new book. 
Diana Anhalt of Atlanta (by way of Mexico) has two full-length  poetry collections, Walking Backward (Kelsay) and Because There Is No Return, (Passager), and two chapbooks, Second Skin, (Future Cycle) and Lives of Straw (Finishing Line). She has lived in Atlanta for nine years, yet her poems colorfully depict people and places in Mexico, where she lived most of her life. Many of her essays, short stories, and book reviews have appeared in both English and Spanish along with her non-fiction book, A Gathering of FugitivesAmerican Political Expatriates in Mexico 1948-1965. Her poetry as also appeared in Nimrod, Concho River Review, The Connecticut River Review, The Atlanta Review, and Spillway, among many others.

Rosemary Royston of Blairsville has been a Writers' Night Out favorite with her intelligent and interesting poems and compelling reading style. She's a lecturer and Vice President for Planning & Research at Young Harris College, where she periodically teaches a creative writing course. Author of Splitting the Soil (Finishing Line Press), her poetry has also been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Split Rock Review, Southern Poetry Review, Appalachian Heritage, Poetry South, KUDZU, NANO Fiction, and *82 Review.

After this event, Writers' Night Out will take a break for the winter and resume in April, 2020 on the second Friday of every month. To be considered as a featured reader of poetry or prose, please contact Karen Paul Holmes (kpaulholmes AT g mail dot com) who will begin working on the schedule in January. 

Here's a link to the Union County Community Center. Sign up at the door to read at open mic for 3 minutes of poetry or prose. Come early if you'd like to enjoy The View Grill. You can bring drinks to the room where the reading takes place. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The passing of Rob Neufeld, a friend to writers in western North Carolina

Western NC has lost a friend to writers. 

Rob Neufeld, RIP

Rob Neufeld

The literary community lost a longtime friend and supporter this week with the passing of Rob Neufeld. The beloved author and historian was sixty-five.
A veteran columnist for The Asheville Citizen-Times, Rob continued writing his “Visiting the Past” column up until the week he died.
He was diagnosed with ALS in the summer of 2018 but remained productive, focusing not only on his newspaper stories but also on a narrative poem for the stage, which he excerpted on his website, The Read on WNC.

Read More

Friday, October 25, 2019

North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green reads at Western Carolina University Wednesday, October 30th, at 7:30 p.m.

North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will be reading at Western Carolina University next Wednesday evening, October 30th, at 7:30, in Blue Ridge Conference Room A. I've sent out press releases and WCU publicity venues have the information, but I know that kind of thing can be very easy to miss. This is a rare opportunity to hear a sitting poet laureate--they often don't make it this far west--and Jaki's poetry is accessible and enjoyable. Jaki is also North Carolina's first African-American poet laureate and only our third female poet laureate.  Parking on WCU's campus can be a bit dicy, but there are pay lots near McKee, behind the University Center, and behind Reid Gym. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Don't Be Gullible and Fall for a Scam

I receive emails every day from people I do not know. Usually they want me to make public their website, their services, their pitch to you, writers, who might fall for their scams.

Writer Beware is a site we should all have bookmarked and check it often, especially if we are approached by anyone who wants us to pay them for publishing our book.

I am not speaking of a company that offers their service to help you self-publish your book. I am talking about a company that offers to publish your book for thousands of dollars. Some are even part of a well-known traditional publisher.

Often they will make an offer and ask for a small amount. But as you begin to work with them, they will offer more help, marketing packages, etc., and want more and more money. Before long you have spent far more money than you can ever replace with sales of your book. And you won't get all that is promised.

You can always go to Writer Beware and learn if they have any information about a publisher.

I learned recently that most self-published books sell no more than 150 copies. I am afraid that most of us feel that once our book is out there, on the market, it will sell with little effort on our part. That is not true. We hate the marketing part, so if an unscrupulous company promises to sell our book and earn us thousands of dollars, we often fall for that promise, even without investigating the folks making the offer.

One of the reasons to belong to an organization like NCWN is having people to turn to when we have questions. With so many members who have been in the business for many years, you can often find free and good advice. Attending a conference like NCWN Fall Writing Conference in Asheville is helpful. You can meet editors, publishers, agents, and other writers who are often very generous with their advice and their knowledge.

"I'm guessing that at least a few of my readers will be thinking "Well, if someone is that naive/ignorant/unwary, they deserve what they get." Believe me, I get frustrated too with writers' gullibility, and in particular with how many writers fail to educate themselves about publishing and self-publishing before trying to publish. But no one, no matter what, deserves to be deceived and ripped off by a pack of con artists."  from article on Writer Beware.

I do my best to check out anyone or any company before I post it or send out emails to our NCWN-West members. But you should also check them out. It is all up to the writer to be sure, to be educated about who he is dealing with in order to self-publish his book.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Karen Paul Holmes Featured on The Writer's Almanac

Garrison Keillor Recited "Rental Cottage, Maine" on October 16, 2019

In what Karen Paul Holmes calls her "poetry dream come true," the popular daily audio program The Writer's Almanac selected a poem from her second book, No Such Thing as Distance (Terrapin 2018). Keillor, host of the long-running Prairie Home Companion, has a voice immediately recognized by his worldwide fans.  You can hear this poem as well as all his broadcasts at

Karen's first book was Untying the Knot (Aldrich, 2014). Chosen a Best Emerging Poet, three of her poems appeared in Stay Thirsty Media's 2019 poetry volume with well-loved poets such as Billy Collins. Karen's other publications include Prairie Schooner, Valparaiso Review, Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, and many journals and books, including two anthologies of Georgia poets

She founded and hosts The Side Door Poets in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in Blairsville, GA. A freelance business writer, she also teaches writing classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, Writer’s Circle in Hayesville, NC, and other venues. Lake Chatuge and the mountains inspire much of her poetry, which also includes stories of personal joys and losses.

Join Karen the weekend of Valentine's Day, 2020 when she teaches "Love Songs & Poetry" at the Folk School. 

The next Writers' Night Out is November 8 at 7 pm at the Union County Community Center, Blairsville. Rosemary Royston and Diana Anhalt are featured. Sign up for open mic at the door (3 minutes of poetry or prose). 

To learn more about Karen's work, visit .