Sunday, May 19, 2019

Charley Pearson, NCWN-West member, was featured guest at CWPW

Charley Pearson, author, and retired nuclear engineer, was featured at our recent Coffee with the Poets and Writers. I visited his Facebook page and his website today. He has a great sense of humor and his information on his page is made more interesting because of his wit. Charley's medical thriller, Scourge, is out now and available online and in bookstores. 

I liked the page, Writer-Aids, on his website.  Lots of good advice for writers from someone who knows.
I think you will like it, too. 

If you could not be at CWPW this month, you missed a great program, but you can get a taste of what Charley is all about and read about his latest book on his website.

Charley along with Merry Elrick head up the Mountain Writers group in Waynesville that meets each month at Panacea restaurant. 

Friday, May 10, 2019


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 7:00 PM
Mary Mike Keller

Glenda Beall

 On May 10 Glenda Beall and Mary Michelle Keller will read their poetry and prose. The reading begins at 7 p.m. and is followed by an open microphone where audience members can share their own poetry or prose. The free event takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA, and is open to the public.

Beall has been writing and publishing poetry, short stories, and personal essays since 1995. Her latest book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins; Family Pets and God’s Other Creatures, was co-authored with local writer Estelle Rice in 2018. Other books include a family history, Profiles and Pedigrees, Descendants of Thomas Charles Council (1858 – 1911), and her poetry chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then (Finishing Line Press). Beall is owner/director of Writers Circle Around the Table in Hayesville, NC, where she teaches and invites writing instructors to hold workshops. She is also Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. 

Keller lives in Young Harris, where she began writing over twenty years ago. She finds inspiration in the happenings around her and her life experiences. She is also a painter and finds writing and painting go hand-in-hand as each demands the expression of emotion. She writes for the pure pleasure of creation.  She has been published in several places, but does not strive to do so.  She enjoys reading her work to others and finds satisfaction in sharing.

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West on the second Friday of every month through November. Anyone wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read three minutes of poetry or prose.

The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092. Food and drinks are available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night Out, contact Karen Paul Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Don't missThe Literary Hour with host writers Carol Lynn Jones, Kanute Rarey, and Rosemary Rhodes Royston, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:00 PM, at John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC

On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS) and NC Writers' Network-West (NCWN-West) will sponsor The Literary Hour. At this event, NCWN-West members will read at the Keith House on the JCCFS campus, in Brasstown, NC. The Literary Hour is held on the third Thursday of the month unless otherwise indicated. This reading is free of charge and open to the public. This month's featured readers will be Carol Lynn Jones, Kanute Rarey, and Rosemary Rhodes Royston. For more information about event, please contact Mary Ricketson at:

Carol Lynn Jones received a full scholarship to study art and illustration at Syracuse University and worked in New York City illustrating books and magazines. Later, she started a greeting card business and sold cards to stores throughout the country. Her travels have taken her across Europe where she lived for two summers with her extended family in communist Czechoslovakia. She also lived with a family in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of a friendship force exchange program for professionals. This experience triggered an interest in Russian culture, language and history, resulting in her first novel, Danya. Organic gardening and photography give her much contentment. She lives with her husband in Murphy.

Kanute Rarey is a local storyteller. He told his first "official" story in 2015 at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, and later at the Swapping Ground at the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Since then he has also told stories at the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival, the Big Fibbers Festival, the Texas Storytelling Festival, the Moth Story Slam in Asheville, and the Stone Soup Festival. Born on a family farm in Ohio, Rarey began visiting the North Georgia mountains regularly about forty years ago and fell in love with the people, their stories, the wild rivers, beautiful lakes, and mountains. He moved to Hayesville in 1990 and lived here for ten years. Work then took him away. Four years ago, he retired back to Hayesville full-time. 

Rarey is a traveler, teacher, grandfather, and lifelong learner. Stories are from his personal life, from growing up on a farm in the Western Carolina mountains, from listening to family tales at breakfast gatherings and holiday meals, from the "characters" that make up his family, and from living with children and grandchildren. Some of his stories are established fables that hold life lessons that have been told over and over for many years. Other stories are works of his imagination.

Rosemary Rhodes Royston holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University and is a lecturer at Young Harris College, Georgia. She is the author of Splitting the Soil (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has been published in journals such as Appalachian Heritage, Split Rock Review, Southern Poetry Review, KUDZU, Town Creek Review, and *82 Review. She’s the VP for Planning and Special Projects at Young Harris College, where she teaches the occasional creative writing course. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she was the recipient of the 2010 Literal Latte Food Verse Award, received Honorable Mention in a George Scarborough Poetry Contest, at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, and her short fiction being selected as Honorable Mention in the Porter Fleming Literary Awards, 2012. Royston is treasurer for the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Author of Elizabeth Goodweather Mysteries, Vicki Lane workshop June 1

Finding Focus: A Hook to Hang Your Narrative On
Whether it’s an event (such as a family gathering), an object ( like a carefully-preserved cheerleader’s uniform from the Fifties), or something less tangible (a sound, a scent,) we’ll explore how a close examination of something specific can segue into a multi-faceted story. Vicki will provide some sensory prompts; attendees are invited to bring a prompt (object or memory) of their own. There’ll be writing, reading, and discussion.
Saturday, June 1
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Writers Circle around the Table Studio
Hayesville, NC

Vicki Lane has lived on a mountain farm in Madison County, NC since 1975. Her novels include Signs in the Blood and four other Elizabeth Goodweather Mysteries, The Day of Small Things, and the forthcoming (2020) Within My Memory Yet.
Her work has been praised for authentic dialogue, evocative detail, and rich, clear, intelligent writing capturing the essence of the Carolina mountains and their people.

Vicki teaches with the Great Smokies Writing Program (UNC-Asheville) and leads writing workshops at Wildacres and John C. Campbell Folk School. Visit her at her (almost) daily blog and her website

To register for this course, contact Glenda Beall, or send check for $50.00 made to Glenda Beall, PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Alarka Expeditions has plans

Brent Martin and Angela Faye have many exciting adventures awaiting the outdoor person this month. 
Visit their website, to learn about a writing workshop by Brent and the opening of their new office in Franklin, NC.
Brent is a member of NCWN-West, a published writer and poet.

Brent Martin on the Bartram Trail in 2018

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Email from Charley of Mountain Writers in Waynesville, NC

 Bob Freye & Polly Davis will be leading our discussion this month, when we meet on Tuesday, May 14, at Panacea in Waynesville (room on the right). Bob provided us the following announcement:

Where the Crawdads Sing
At our next meeting, we’ll take a look at Delia Owens’ best-selling novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. Delia has an interesting life story and a fascinating style. I think you’ll enjoy hearing excerpts from the book. We’ll also look for ways her work connects with the stories and poetry that we are writing, so come out, bring your copy of the book if you have one, and discover something interesting at the next meeting of the Mountain Writers of North Carolina.

I'll be talking about writing medical thriller Scourge twice this month. Glenda Beall invited me down to Hayesville on Wednesday, May 15 for their 10:30 a.m. meeting at the Moss Memorial Library. (Coffee with the Poets and Writers)
And the Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) invited me to speak on the same subject on Saturday, May 25, 2-4 p.m at their Waynesville center on Main Street. Fun!

- Charley

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."
- Cicero

Charley didn't say in his email, but the meeting at Panacea restaurant is at noon. Some people eat during the program so they can get back to work.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Scammers and fraudulent publishers are waiting to take your money.

Scammers and fraudulent publishers are waiting to take the money from amateur writers and those first time authors who can't wait to see their books in print.

Recently I met a man in a waiting room at my physical therapists office.
 "I have just published a children's book, he said. 
I asked how much it cost him as I was quickly aware he was not an experienced writer. 
"Just four thousand dollars," he said. "I think that's reasonable for all they will do for me."
"Will they market your book"? I asked. 
"Yes. They will give me a page on their website."
When he told me the enormous number of books he had to have printed, I knew he had been taken for a ride. He will sell copies to his friends and family and no one will ever see his page on his website because no one will know to go there to buy his books.

A friend recently told me of another first time writer who bought one thousand copies of her children's book from the publisher (the company which had the book printed for her). This new author has no idea how long it will take to sell one thousand books, if ever.

Sad to say, many people who want to publish a book have been told by friends and family that their book is wonderful and they should have no problem selling it. Friends and family quickly buy books from the new author, the man or woman they like and maybe love. But once they all have a book, the author is lucky to have sold 150 books. The average number of books sold by a self-published author is about one hundred fifty books. 

Authors are not book salesmen and therefore, when they receive hundreds of books, they soon become overwhelmed and realize that it is unlikely they will ever sell them all.

One man bought 1500 copies of his book. He likes to write and doesn't do readings or book signings. He has his 1500 books stored in a warehouse. Some fraudulent company took advantage of this man, I think. But, like with any product, it is buyer beware or in this case, writer beware.

When I write about the pitfalls of publishing, I speak from my own experience. I wrote a family history book and published through Genealogy Publishing company in Sylva, NC in 1998. It is a beautiful, hard back book, nicely printed with black and white photos of my ancestors, my parents and aunts and uncles.

In 1998, four thousand dollars was about average cost to publish this type of book. Many county histories were published this way. After all, no New York traditional publishers would make money on books that only appealed to a very small niche. In my case, I still have some of those two hundred books which I sold to all the family members who were interested in family history. I occasionally, even now, get an order for one of the books. But the niche for family histories is not large. Those researching your family name on Ancestry might want a copy. Last year a third and a fourth cousin ordered my book, Profiles and Pedigrees; Descendants of Thomas Charles Council, (1858-1911).

In today's world, a self-published book with photos can be published for around one thousand dollars if the author is aware and willing to do what he must do and where he must go to get the best advice and the best service. Better than forking over thousands of dollars, the writer would do best to hire someone to format the book and insert pictures where they should go. This is not terribly expensive if your manuscript has been proofed and edited several times. Ask other writers and talk to a number of people who have experience in self-publishing. 

If  a writer is taken in by an ad in a magazine, and he knows nothing about the company he is doing business with, he is like a hungry fish grabbing a worm on a hook. 

A few years ago, a young widow came to me with a rough manuscript she had sent to a Christian Publishing Company. She had paid them two thousand dollars upfront. I asked what the company did for the two thousand dollars. She said they sent the manuscript back to her and told her she needed to hire an editor to get the book ready for printing, and then they would look at it again.

I was appalled at this and advised this young woman to contact that company and ask for her money back now. First of all, it was too soon to hire an editor to help her. She needed writing classes. She needed to do research on the kind of book she wanted to write. She had no idea who would read her book and none of it was original. She had simply taken verses from the bible and organized them in ways that meant something to her. 

Beware of Christian Publishing companies. They use the word Christian to lure in good people who feel that it is safe to do business with anyone who is "Christian."

I will never forget one of my students who published a book about his exciting life as a minister working in third world countries. His goal? Publish this book. It wasn't long before I heard from him.

"I have two hundred books in my basement. What should I do next?"

Relieved that he only had two hundred books, I gave him my best advice on marketing. But he had not given one thought as to how he would sell his books once they were in print. He did not know his audience or how to reach them. That seems to be the way with most first-time self-published authors. 

Some resources to check out before self-publishing. Scamming writers is going on and will go on, but writers can be aware and learn what to watch out for.

The best article on scamming in 2019

Writers Beware - Writers Beware was founded in 1998 and is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Like many genre-focused writers’ groups, SFWA, MWA, HWA, and ASJA  are concerned with not only well-published writers, but also the fate of aspiring writers, first time authors who are anxious to see their books in print. Check with Writer Beware before signing a contract with any publisher.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Local Students receive awards for Simpson Beck Writing Contest in Hayesville, NC April 23, 2019

On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Hayesville Middle and High Schools received awards for their entries in the Simpson Beck Student Writing Contest. The Clay County Historical and Arts Council (CCHAC) gave awards for the students. 

Winners of the Middle School Contest for Poetry were: 1st place, E. Holland, 2nd place, L. Gottlieb, and 3rd place, D. Fields.  

Winners of the High School Contest for Poetry were: 1st place, B. Johnson, 2nd place, M. Gottlieb, and 3rd place, M. Crawford.

Winners of the Middle School Personal Essay Contest were: 1st place, G. Gibson, and 2nd place, A. Gibson. There were no other entries.

Winners of the High School Personal Essay Contest were: 1st place, R. Bunch, 2nd place, B. Johnson, and 3rdplace, J. Green. 

Carroll S. Taylor, Janice Townley Moore, Rosemary Rhodes Royston

Judges for the contests were: Rosemary Rhodes Royston, Poetry judge, and Janice Townley Moore and Carroll S. Taylor, Personal Essay judges. 

Reba Beck and Joan Ellen Gage
This writing event was coordinated by English teacher Carla Beck, Joan Ellen Gage, representing NCWN-West, and by Reba Beck, from CCHAC, a retired art teacher from Hayesville High School. Reba Beck established the original contests, (which at the time included art work), along with Nancy Simpson (Brantley). Teacher Carla Beck was instrumental in coordinating the contest with the middle and high school.

Awards for the judges were furnished by The Copper Door Restaurant, Brother’s Willow Ranch Restaurant, and Rib Country (Hayesville).