Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Renea Winchester launches Outbound Train

Outbound Train releases today !

Being an author means you’ve signed up to be vulnerable. You’ve laid out your soul for all to read. Being an author means the public’s initial perception of your work can make or break something you’ve invested years of your life into. Being an author also means some readers will adore your work, others will use their platform to voice their displeasure. And perhaps that is why authors worry, because from inspiration to final edits we have been in control. But as the ink dries on publication day and a book baby is born, an author has mixed emotions: so much love and hope mingle with the feeling of complete helplessness.

And so my friends, I give you Outbound Train, my book baby. I pray you will scatter her like petals in the wind. I pray you will experience life in my hometown from my eyes, and that you will gift me with the kindness of a book review. A book review will make or break Outbound Train. I hope you will tell your friends, your librarian and the neighbor across the street. For in these uncertain times I still believe that words matter and I need you more than you shall ever know.

With sincere appreciation.
Be well and safe during these uncertain times.

My friends, Independent Booksellers are hurting. Please call your local Indie and order a copy today. Many are shipping copies as well. Find your Indie Bookseller here.
Link to Amazon here.  PLEASE NOTE: AUTHORS DO NOT receive payments for USED COPIES sold through Amazon. These copies are most-likely damaged copies or copies sent to a reviewer who is now selling it. Please support all authors and buy new, or local books.

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Hope for a New Normal

This is a comment from a blogger friend who lives in Australia. She has MS, but normally volunteers at a Suicide Crisis Center in her city. She is a thoughtful and caring person, and I asked if I might publish this comment from her. 

Sue will find other ways to help people. She is that kind of person. Even if we are at home, we can reach out to others, especially those who live alone or have recently lost loved ones. 

I am hoping that our new normal is NOT the same. I hope that we 
remember that getting by with less is not only possible, but better for 
the environment (and our wallets). And I long for this pandemic 
to be replaced with a pandemic of kindness. That said, today I am feeling 
bereft. My age and my chronic illness means that I can no longer do shifts 
on the crisis line - at a time when so many people are crying out 
for assistance.  

Friday, March 27, 2020

Writers' Night Out Delayed Until May

Due to the coronavirus situation in the State of Georgia, Writers' Night Out, April 10th in Hiawassee, has been cancelled. 

Our new home is The Ridges Resort on Lake Chatuge --  
We all hope to resume May 8 
and continue the second Friday of each month, meanwhile...

Stay healthy, read, and write! 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Randy Mazie's poem published

Congratulations to a new member of NCWN-West, Randy Mazie.One of his poems was published by Your Daily Poem.

Randy Mazie

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Word from NCWN-West Program Coordinator

I am home, making sure I have no visitors, and I am not going out unless it is absolutely necessary.
Being in the High Risk group of Americans who are more apt to die from Covid -19 if I should be exposed and become ill, I am practicing all the guidelines from CDC. I urge all of you to do the same.

Recent news from Ed Southern regarding the NCWN Spring Conference

I know some of you have seen and shared this online already. For those who haven't, please help us spread this sad news.

Please stay tuned, though, as we announce more and more online options. Later today we'll open registration for a free Online Open Mic that we'll host next week, and we will open registration for our Cabin Fever Conference - an online alternative to the Spring Conference - as soon as possible.

The Network isn't going anywhere. In fact, the Network will be even more active in the coming days, weeks, and months. We're almost uniquely well-positioned to keep writers connected and supported through this tumultuous time, and that's just what we intend to do.

More soon. Take care. 
Ed Southern

The Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge, GA has been cancelled.  I was looking forward to this great small conference.

The writing class on Dialogue at the Moss Memorial Library with Carol Crawford has been postponed until Thursday, August 20. We will refund fees to anyone who has registered and wants a refund.  Let me know by email and include your mailing address. 

Let's use this forum to let our members know what is happening in the NCWN-West region. 
What are restaurants in your area doing to reach their customers? How are you coping with staying home? What is the medical community doing to keep safe and meet the needs of the public in your county? Here in our rural area, it is not easy to keep up with local happenings. 

Angelos's Pizza in Hayesville, NC is open and offers take out. Food is good and service is excellent.

Well, you can teach an old dog new tricks

I am teaching a class for Tri-County Community College, but the college is closed and my students voted to hold the class online.

With help from others, I set up through Google Classroom, and we held our first class Monday evening. I will work hard this week to gain all the knowledge I can to make this a great class for my students. I think it will be fun and interesting as we all learn how to use Google Classroom. 

Leave a comment here or send an email to 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Writers' Night Out Has a New Home: The Ridges on Lake Chatuge

NCWN-West is happy to become associated with 
The Ridges Resort.  
3499 US-76, Young Harris, GA 30582

Writers' Night Out Begins April 10 at 7 pm with poet Rupert Fike

Joan Howard and I met with Andrea Allen of The Ridges Resort to confirm having our Writers' Night Out (WNO) there. Click here for their website. We'll continue with our normal schedule: the second Friday of each month, April through November, at 7 pm, featuring guest readers and an open mic. The resort is excited about helping make the event a success for our members, their guests, and the public. It's sure to be a win-win. 

The change of venue was necessary because our prior meeting place -- the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA -- could no longer offer us a free room. We're grateful that they donated space for WNO for several years. 

Karen Paul Holmes, who has hosted WNO for 10 years, was touring the various meeting spaces at The Ridges for another event and had the thought that it could work very well for NCWN-West and WNO. Her idea met with much enthusiasm from their meeting planner Andrea and the resort's General Manager. They give us the room at no charge and will promote the event to their guests. In return we will tell everyone about the restaurant and the resort. 

I hope to see us meet for dinner at The Oaks Lakeside Kitchen, their farm-to-table restaurant, before we gather for WNO. It is fine dining and is not cheap, but once a month, you might want to splurge or at least try their appetizers and a cocktail. They open at 5 PM, and reservations are recommended. Their guests also give great reviews for the breakfasts served each day. 

Our writers will like that we can go to the bar in the restaurant, purchase a drink, and take it to the meeting room

On the marina side of the property is another restaurant, Marina Station, where they serve lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday (summer hours will likely be extended).

Originally the Fieldstone Inn, The Ridges was purchased by Duke Hospitality in 2017 and underwent extensive remodeling of all meeting spaces, lodge rooms, and restaurants in 2018.  All venues and restaurants have the most beautiful views of Lake Chatuge and the surrounding mountains. Weddings, family reunions, and conferences often enjoy the ambiance and friendliness of the staff.

For 2020, WNO will begin Friday, April 10 with a popular guest: Rupert Fike of Atlanta, whose last book was named a "Book Every Georgian Should Read." He will share his insights on writing, and this new aspect of the program will continue with each of our featured writers throughout the year. Open mic will take place after the reading/discussion. Because Karen has decided to step back a little due to scheduling conflicts, various members of NCWN-West will rotate as hosts.

At 6:45 we can enter the Blue Ridge Room adjacent to The Oaks Lakeside Kitchen for our meeting at 7:00 PM. If there is a change of room, the reception area of the restaurant will have the information for you. 

I urge you to drop by The Ridges for dinner or breakfast and see this lovely place. Stop in at the Marina Station Restaurant for lunch and a beautiful relaxing view of Lake Chatuge. 

I see many possibilities for NCWN-West to use facilities at The Ridges in the future. Let's support the businesses that support us, the writers in the area.

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Looking Glass Rock Writers Conference in Brevard

Writers, you will like Brevard, NC and this annual conference held at Brevard College.

The Looking Glass Rock Writers Conference is held May 14 - 17, and the faculty looks very good this year.

Check it out and see what you think.

Exploring the theme “A Sense of Place," small select groups of conference attendees experience working under the guidance of notable writers. Founded in 2016 as a partnership between the Transylvania County Library and Brevard College, the annual conference consists of writing workshops for select participants and public readings by the workshop leaders free to the community.

The Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference is sponsored by the Transylvania County Library Foundation and Brevard College.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Brenda Kay Ledford Published in West End Poets Newsletter

Brenda Kay Ledford's poem, "Orchids," appeared in the "West End Poets Newsletter," March/April/May 2020.

For information:

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Short Story published in Bewildering Stories

News from Bob Brooks. Congratulations.

Dear Writers:
Good news from the ink-stained dungeon: my short story "A Blanket of Well and Woe" is in the current issue of Bewildering Stories, an ezine devoted to speculative fiction.  This story has only racked up four rejections before finding a home.  My thanks go to those of you who helped revise and frame the piece.

This tale that asks what you do if your benevolence, your good deed, puts you outside the law.  Dr. Padeema Sarey made his choice. 

I hope you enjoy and use the link at the bottom on the web site to leave any comments.


R.R. Brooks
Author: fantasy, mystery, thrillers
Justi the Gifted
The Clown Forest Murders

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Registration now open: Carol Crawford writing class March 26, Moss Memorial Library

Where: Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC
Sponsored by NC Writers Network West 
Instructor: Carol Crawford
Fee: $40.00 
Time: 1:30 - 4:30 Thursday - March 26

He Said, She Said:  Tackling Dialogue in Prose
This interactive workshop will help you bring your characters to life with dialogue that is authentic, clear, and compelling. Capture the flavor of personality, place, and culture through speech that sounds real. In-class exercises will cover word choice, tone, action beats, what to leave out, and format.

Carol Childers Crawford is the owner of Carol Crawford Editing and author of The Habit of Mercy, Poems about Daughters and Mothers.
Carol has led workshops and taught creative writing for the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Dahlonega Literary Festival, The Red Clay Writers’ Conference, The Writers’ Circle, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the Carrollton Writers’ Club. She has been a volunteer with the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference since it began more than twenty years ago.

She has been published in the Southern Humanities Review, the Chattahoochee Review, and the Journal of Kentucky Studies among others. Originally from Texas, she holds a journalism and English degree from Baylor University.

Through teaching and editing, Carol finds joy in helping people tell their stories.
She spends her free time doing needlepoint and badgering county commissioners about library funding. 

Contact Glenda Beall - for registration information

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Literary Trail: stories and poems from Mississippi to North Carolina, author readings by Mary Ricketson & Mary Jo Dyre, Murphy Art Center, Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Mississippi to North Carolina, a literary trail, featuring:

stories and poems by Mary Peavey Ricketson and Mary Jo Dyre

Meet the authors for selected readings, book signing, and reception:

Murphy Art Center, 33 Valley River Ave, Murphy NC 28906

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5 PM

Mary Ricketson’s new book of poems, Mississippi: The Story of Luke and Marian (Kelsay Books, 2019), relates a story of her family, from the perspective of racial tensions in troubled Mississippi, 1948-1969, and the parents who believed in equality and found a way through these troubled times.

Written in a personal manner, these poems engage an audience by speaking to diversity, understanding, and trust in context of the lives of people who were less aware than many of us today.

Living near Murphy NC, Ricketson is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor, Her poetry published in journals and her books: Disorgananza, private publication 2000, chapbook, I Hear the River Call my Name, and three full length collections, Hanging Dog Creek, Shade and Shelter, and Mississippi: The Story of Luke and Marian. 

Ricketson writes a monthly column, Women to Women, for The Cherokee Scout. She is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor in private practice, and an organic vegetable, herb, and blueberry farmer. 

Mary Jo Dyre native Mississipian, living in the Murphy area of North Carolina since 1979, officially entered the arena as a writer as she finished and published DARK SPOT from a partial manuscript left by her brother, Arnold Dyre, at his death in 2017. DARK SPOT is the fourth book in the Jake Baker Mystery Series.

Long before picking of the pen of fiction writing, Dyre taught 10th and 11th English in the Marks, MS, then World Literature, Writing and Art Appreciation at Tri-County Community College. She now has a far-reaching reputation in education with the founding of The Learning Center, first as a private school in 1983 and then with its conversion to a North Carolina Charter School in 1997.

Dyre is currently developing a strategic facility project for the school, writes monthly columns for two Mississippi newspapers, The Grenada Star and The Coffeeville Courier, and is working on her next novel SPRINGHEADS. The work is a blend of history and mystery that promises to intrigue her growing base of both Mississippi and North Carolina fans 

This event is sponsored by Cherokee County Arts Council and the Jackie Ward Foundation, supporters of the arts in far western North Carolina.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Literary events in Sylva!

Tonight--February 13th--at 7:00 p.m., NCWN Swain rep Ben Cutler is hosting an open reading at Nantahala Brewing of Sylva: "Pints, Prose, and Poetry" with a special Valentine's Day love/anti-love theme.  Come out to tell your stories, drown your sorrows, and celebrate love well won at 5 Grindstaff Cove Road in Sylva.

Next Friday, February 21st, is Open Mic at the incomparable City Lights Bookstore on Spring Street in Sylva, hosted by City Lights, the Jackson branch of NCWN-West and Jackson rep Catherine Carter.  Come out again for wine, dessert, and a supportive crowd to cheer for your work!