Monday, January 14, 2019

Carroll S.Taylor's poem "In Memoriam" awarded Second Place in the Mnemosyne Award for the 2018 Georgia Poetry Society's fall contest.

Carroll S. Taylor has been awarded Second Place for her poem, "In Memoriam," in the Mnemosyne Award contest for the 2018 Georgia Poetry Society's fall contest. The poem will be published in the 2019 edition of The Reach of Song. 

Carol Crawford judged this award category. Her comments are as follows: 

"In Memoriam" comes at the reader with vivid visual imagery. It reads like an artist's black and white photograph, with sharply drawn contrasts. The word pictures of death and mourning are dramatic. The stark warning of the dead bird bringss to mind violence humans commit against each other and serves as its own warning and cautionary tale. S. Taylor grew up on a dirt road in rural West Central Georgia. A graduate of Tift College (Mercer University) with a BA in French, she holds graduate degrees in French and English as well as an EdS in Educational Leadership. She was an educator for forty-three years. As a secondary teacher, she taught French, English, Journalism, Creative Writing, and ESL. She advised students in the creation and publication of school newspapers and yearbooks. After her retirement, she moved on to her second career as a part-time instructor at Columbus State University, teaching freshman composition. 

She is the author of two young adult novels, Chinaberry Summer and Chinaberry Summer: On theOther Side. She is currently writing the third novel in the series, Chinaberry Summer: Down by the Water. Her books emphasize generational storytelling and respect for the valuable role of reptiles and amphibians in our ecosystem. One of the personal highlights of publishing her novels was her book reading held in the childhood home of Carson McCullers.

Carroll is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network, North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, and the Georgia Poetry Society.
 She and her husband retired to Hiawassee, Georgia, where they share a home with their two cats. She loves studying nature, especially snakes. She enjoys writing in all forms, including poetry and novels. Readers may find her journal blog at and follow her at:

Saturday, January 12, 2019

It's a new year, have you updated your bio, recently?

Hello fellow members!

I sent an email today asking for you to update your member bio, if you have not recently done so. If you need ideas, please peruse our member's page at: for examples of other member's bios.

I would prefer that you have a good bio for your member page, and a shorter one to use for newspaper articles. The shorter bio should be 50 to 100 words.

NCWN-West does have events that feature writers, and in this corner of the state, and we do send articles and photos to publications to garner interest at these events. These events are Coffee with the Poets and Writers (Hayesville, NC), and The Literary Hour Readings (Brasstown, NC). Both events will resume in March 2019, and continue through November 2019.

You should also have a good quality photo to go along with your member bio. If you do not have one, ask a friend to take a photo of you. It will be easiest if you have a photo taken with a digital camera, as these photos can be sent through email and uploaded to your member page.

Thanks, and I hope to see your emails!

Joan Ellen Gage,
NCWN-West Blog

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

News from author Robert Brooks, The Clown Forest Murders

From: Robert Brooks <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 10:19 AM
To: The Brookses
Subject: No Clowning Around

Dear Readers:
Our publisher has surprised us with a half-off sale for The Clown Forest Murders.  The ebook is available today for $1.99.  If you have this mystery on your reading list but, due to your procrastination inclinations or penurious circumstances, failed to get your hands on this classic, this is your chance for a better new year.  See Amazon now.

Both Princeton authors will be grateful if you take the journey to Princeton in the 90s and the shocking end on the shores of Lake Carnegie.  For those with a Norwich, NY connection this is THE NORWICH MYSTERY.  For those with coulrophobia (fear of clowns), be assured there are no clowns in the mystery.  This is the story of Dave Austin, who saw his brother murdered and is protected by amnesia, until it erodes in college and forces him to answer the dangerous questions of who and why.

Alert your reading friends.  they deserve a New Year's gift and Andrew and I deserve a fatter royalty check.  At least fatter than two bucks.

Justi cover final no border.jpgR.R. Brooks
Author, Fantasy, Mystery
Justi the Gifted
The Clown Forest Murders

Thursday, December 20, 2018


From the Cherokee Scout Newspaper, we are reprinting a column by Mary Ricketson, NCWN-WEST Representative for Cherokee County.

Woman to Woman                                                 

When I was a little girl, Santa Claus came to us on Christmas Eve, according to tradition in my mother’s family. Always, Mother engaged a family friend to take us three kids for a drive, to see Christmas lights, bask in the excitement and wonder of the season. Always, when we arrived home, jingle bells rang, Daddy met us at the door with his jolly chuckle and said, You just missed him, Santa was here already. Wide eyed, we saw proof, presents under our tinseled tree.

Older, our tradition toggled to all three of us willingly hiding out in the girls’ bedroom, singing carols, imagining our belief, until Daddy rang the jingle bells and called out, You just missed him, Santa was here, come out to the tree.  Mother, dressed in red, green, and her knowing smile, broke into laughter every time.

My siblings and I are scattered by miles, our parents have passed on, and still the magic of our childhood Christmas Eves links our lives, keeps a spirit none of us would dare to trample.

For us, that one night a year, a fairyland lived in lights and song.  Anticipation built a ladder to the stars.  No problems existed.

Memory, tradition, and gatherings of friends, family, even strangers, fill the bowls of many on Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, and any holiday of the season. For others, vessels of want and need define the nights, the days.

This year let’s give gifts of kindness. Even a moment, a glance, can tune an ear to something good. Let’s give stars of understanding, even acceptance that holds the possibility of harmony without knowing details of what to understand. Let’s give food, coats, and heating fuel to ones who need a hand. Finally, let’s give love, the very gift everyone always needs.

Mary Ricketson makes her home inCherokee county.  She is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Murphy.  She has a special interest in women’s issues.  Copyright 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Brenda Kay Ledford featured on Clay County, NC Chamber of Commerce

Brenda Kay Ledford's interview on the "Chamber Connection," over Windstream Communications, has been posted to the Clay County, NC Chamber of Commerce website.  You may view her and Carol Moffitt, owner of Molly Antiques, at:

" This Month's Chamber Connection" on the home page:


2018 Crosswinds Poetry Contest.

First Prize: $1,000 and publication.
Second Prize: $250 and publication.
Third Prize:  $100 and publication.
Reading Period:  July 1st – Dec. 31st.
Note: As part of our continuing mission, 10% of contest submission fees will be donated to a Rhode Island non-profit agency. Last year, we donated over $500 to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Our Judge:

Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, where she lives with her husband and their three children. She is also the founder and director of  Writers-in-the Schools, RI and is an instructor with the writing community, Frequency Providence. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including  The Literary Review, Two Serious Ladies, Tupelo Quarterly, Jubliat and The Common. She also produces, with Atticus Allen, the podcast, Poetry Dose.
Cane is the author of The Fifth Thought (Other Painters Press, 2008),  Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz (Skillman Avenue Press, 2016) and Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books, 2017). In 2016, Tina received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Reading Fees:

$20 for each submission of up to three poems. Two submissions are allowed but require two separate reading fees.


Previously published works and works forthcoming elsewhere cannot be considered. Simultaneous submissions are allowed  but the entry fee is non-refundable should the submitted work be accepted elsewhere. Poets wishing to withdraw poems under consideration by Crosswinds must do so prior to the December 31st deadline.

How to Submit:

Crosswinds seeks English language poetry with few restrictions as to form or content. Using Submittable, submit poems as word documents. No PDF files please. Any identifying information on the poem itself will disqualify the poem. We very strongly prefer poems of no more than 60 lines, as part of our mission is to publish as many poets as possible. Please keep in mind our formatting limit of sixty-six characters per line, which includes letters, punctuation, and spaces. Poems exceeding sixty six characters (based on 12 point font) will nearly always be turned down as it requires us to alter your line breaks and ask you to resubmit the poem for consideration.

Please Include:

  • Name
  • Postal mailing address
  • Titles for each poem
  • Brief bio of not more than 120 words. We and our readers enjoy learning just a bit about you beyond your publishing credits, so keep your “publishing resume” to what you consider highlights. That said, telling us about yourself is optional. We judge only the poems.


Winners will receive their awards from Crosswinds in the form of a check sent to their postal mailing address no later than March 10th of each year following the contest deadline. Contest winners and the fifteen honorable mentions agree to allow Crosswinds to publish their names on this website, in other forms of advertising, and in Poets and Writers Magazine.

Please Note:

We receive a large number of poems and carefully review all submissions. We do our best to respond within 3 months. Final decisions on publication will be made by February 1st for poems submitted during the later periods of our reading period.  Contest results will be posted by March 1st.
Thank you for supporting Crosswinds with your work.

Dave Dragone

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Brenda Kay Ledford Appears on "Clay County, NC Chamber of Commerce Connection"

Brenda Kay Ledford appeared on the Clay County, NC "Chamber Connection" over Windstream Communication Cable TV.  She was interviewed by Pam Roman, president of Clay County Chamber of Commerce.  Ledford told about her new poetry book, "Red Plank House," that was recently published by Kelsay Books.

The program will appear on Windstream Communication Cable TV (channel 4) this week and next week at the following times:

Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30 PM
Thursday, December 13 at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM
Tuesday, December 18 at 5:30 PM
Thursday, December 20 at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM

Brenda Kay Ledford's book, "Red Plank House," is available at:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Joe Perrone's Interview with Lucelle Raad

Today, Joe Perrone, one of our members, posted an interview he did with an artist who has written a book. I think you will enjoy reading the interview and meeting this lovely lady, Lucelle Raad, from the UK, so I am re-blogging Joe's post here.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Rosemary Royston in Split Rock Review

We are happy to congratulate Rosemary Royston for her poem and her contributor's remarks in Split Rock Review. Click on the link below to read the poem and Rosemary's remarks about the poem.

Rosemary is our new NCWN-West treasurer. She lives in Blairsville, GA.