A Day for Writers 2019 - Presenters and Registration form

Sylva, NC, August 24, 2019,

C. Hope Clark, Joseph Bathanti, David Joy, Karen Holmes, Carol Crawford, Pat Vestal, Katie Winkler, Meagan Lucas

9:00 - 4:30, fee includes lunch, coffee, drinks and pastries
Copy registration form and mail with fee to PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904

Check Sidebar of this site for pages: A Day for Writers 2019 and A Day for Writers 2019 Registration Form

Showing posts with label Ed Southern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Southern. Show all posts

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Spring Conference Time is Near

Seeing the announcement of the NCWN Spring Conference created an excitement in me to go to this gathering of successful writers and poets. I want the inspiration and motivation I always receive when I am with writers. 
Ed Southern at City Lights Books. Photo by Barry Beall
I like to learn and I can tell there is much I could learn here. One of the things most of us need is the sessions by Ed Southern and his wife, Jamie, both knowledgeable about the book business. That is what we have if we make an effort to publish our writing, a business we need to work at just as we work at our writing. 

At times our book business takes too much of our time, or it seems to. We want to spend our time writing, not building a platform or reputation with readers, or getting our books into book stores, checking on their sales and even picking up books that are not selling. I was told that many writers, enthusiastic about their new novels, travel far and wide to sell book store owners on the idea of carrying their books. But, book store owners say often authors never come back. They never even contact the book stores. 

When our local book store closed the owner said she had contacted all the local authors whose books she carried, but very few came back to get their books. I ended up with many of them because I was asked to take them. Elizabeth didn't want to just throw away the books, so I give them as door prizes in our writing groups or donate them to Friends of the Library book store. 

The book business is important to learn. I want to attend Ed and Jamie's sessions. If anyone in WNC or north Georgia wants to go to Greensboro to the Spring Conference, I would like to have a companion for the trip. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Best Wishes to Lana Hendershott first Henderson County Representative for NCWN West

Lana Hendershott has resigned as representative for Netwest and NCWN. 

She served the writers in Henderson County since 2008 and proved to be a loyal volunteer for our western region. Her conscientious efforts to sell the Netwest anthology, Echoes across the Blue Ridge, to book stores and other retail shops in her area made her a role model for others. Lana participated in a panel discussion by Netwest at the Blue Ridge Bookfest and at other times, she sat at the table at the bookfest and signed and sold Echoes. She enabled her fellow writers to meet and stay connected.

I met Lana when I was Program Coordinator in 2007 – 2009. The leadership of Netwest had decided to make Henderson County a part of the NCWN West region because we had heard from numerous people in that area wanting to know if there was a writers’ group or were there any other writers in Hendersonville, Fletcher or Flat Rock. They had no way of connecting to each other and therefore did not know of other poets and writers in the area.

As Program Coordinator, I talked with Ed Southern about holding a meeting at the library and sending out invitations to all members of NCWN that lived in Henderson County. I asked Nancy Purcell and J.C. Walkup to come to the meeting and talk about their duties and responsibilities in Transylvania and Haywood Counties. We needed a representative for Henderson County, but we had no volunteers. Susan Snowden suggested that I ask Lana. Susan said Lana was one of the most serious writers she knew.

It took some persuading, but Lana agreed that evening to become a representative for her county. She has been one of the easiest people to work with and once her name was known to the members there, she was available to them when they had questions or needed her advice. Even though she felt on several occasions that she would have to resign because she was needed to care for elderly parents, she persevered and, once she reached out and asked others to help, she was able to continue.

Last year when she and Pat Vestal began the open mic event they hold each month, it immediately became a success. At the present time, I believe Henderson County has more writers and poets who are members of NCWN than any county in the far western region.

I am confident that those writers would not have become the community they are now had it not been for the efforts of Lana Hendershott and Netwest.

Personally, I want to tell Lana how much she is appreciated by me and by all the members of NCWN West. Caring writers like Lana make a big difference in the lives of others. We need more members like Lana throughout NCWN West to become leaders and supporters of writers in their counties. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern to receive award

The North Carolina Writers' Network Executive Director, Ed Southern has been awarded the prestigious Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award, Photo

"St. Andrews University will present the 2015 Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award to North Carolina Writers’ Network Executive Director Ed Southern on March 5."

Ed has headed NCWN since 2008 and the organization has grown and served more writers over the years.
Read more about Ed and the award at this link:   http://www.ncwriters.org/whitecross/

On a personal note, I was program coordinator for NCWN West, (Netwest) when Ed came on board. I had heard good things about him and was excited to know we were going to be in good hands. Right away, I asked Ed to come to our far western area and meet all the writers and poets scattered in these mountains. And for the first time since the early 90s, the  Executive Director of NCWN came out here and talked with us. Even more important, he listened to us. Our promised funding sanctioned by the  NC Arts Council had been terminated, but Ed promised he would see that it was resumed. He did as he promised.

I know all of our members and readers join me in congratulating Ed Southern on receiving the Fortner Award.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ellen Schofield will be missed as Program Coordinator

We are all sorry that our Program Coordinator resigned, but happy that she accomplished so much in the year that she served.
From the beginning, Ellen Schofield reached out to our entire Netwest region, the nine counties of NC and the counties in bordering states. She had to get on a fast track to learn the ropes and meet the members. Being a person who is well organized herself, she organized and set up a website and streamlined our blog and other features. The membership page she created for us is the only online presence some of our members can claim.

In May, a short time after Ellen came on board, we held the first Netwest Conference since 2006 with a large attendance, good faculty and fellowship for writers from all over western NC and north Georgia. By using the funds accumulated in our Netwest treasury, Ellen set the registration fees well within reach of our members. By holding the conference in the beautiful Sylva Library, for free, the event drew members from the north end of the region, Henderson County, to the far south, Cherokee County in NC and Fannin, County in Georgia.

Karen Paul Holmes who facilitates Writers’ Night Out in Blairsville, GA said, “Ellen jumped right in with two feet and was dedicated to the job. She was always pleasant to work with on matters regarding Writers' Night Out and fully supported my choice of a new venue. She also knew the importance of good communication, both in general announcements to the full membership and also in quick responses to individual emails.”

Although Ellen was not well-known to many members when she accepted the PC position, she endeared herself to all she met and was open to helping writers in any way she could. Having served as Program Coordinator for two years, 2007, 2008, I know the job requires hours of time that the average member doesn't realize. Much of the job is done out of the public eye.

Bill Ramsey of Hendersonville said, “Writers can be contentious at times. Incidents of contention like the role of Netwest relative to the Network, the governor's naming of a new NC poet laureate and lesser skirmishes could have been real setbacks. Ellen is a peacemaker and some of that was needed during her term. We need more peacemakers.”

Along these same lines, Bob Grove said, “Ellen has had a positive influence on maintaining a complementary relationship between Netwest and the Ridgeline Literary Alliance. Her openness in dialog, warmth toward fellow writers, and follow-through with the challenges and responsibilities of her position set an example that will be hard to replace. Ellen will be missed.”

I asked Ellen what she enjoyed about being Program Coordinator for NCWN West and she said, “I appreciated the trust placed in me, and I particularly enjoyed traveling and meeting many of the members. Writers are always interesting people, and I made many good friends in my short tenure.”

When asked the reason for her resignation, Ellen responded, “My job description called for me to spend 10-12 hours per month for a compensation of $200, which seemed appropriate. However, I quickly realized that I could just barely cover the minimum responsibilities of the PC job in that amount of time. I came to believe that in order to be fully engaged, and effective, a Program Coordinator needs 10-12 hours per week - at a minimum. Unfortunately, my circumstances do not allow me to do the job as it is now without more compensation, and my work ethic does not allow me to do the minimum.”

Ellen said she hoped that until a new Program Coordinator, who has the same dedication as those who came before her who asked for little or no compensation, can be found, her hope is that the NetWest members will see themselves as members of an influential state-wide organization and follow the lead of its capable Executive Director, Ed Southern. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Naming of new poet laureate stirred up controversy this week

The literary world of North Carolina has been buzzing the past week with the appointment of a poet laureate by Governor McCrory who did not go through the normal process of working with the NC Arts Council to selectthe best person for this important post.
Our own Netwest member and first woman poet laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer spoke out online in numerous Facebook posts about the selection of Valerie Macon, poet from Fuquay-Varina whose literary credits seem to be two self-published books of poetry. 

Byer along with three other past poets laureate issued a statement criticizing the process used by the governor.
"Instituted and administered expertly and transparently by the North Carolina Arts Council - which has our unqualified support and loyalty - the process insured that the poet laureate, ultimately appointed by the governor, was indeed a poet and educator of singular accomplishment, someone not only with a literary reputation in North Carolina, but beyond," their statement said. "The fact that that process was not recognized in the most recent appointment has resulted in disaster."

Although Macon is an advocate for the homeless and writes about their plight, she is not considered by most poets yet worthy to hold this honor. Those who struggle to perfect verse that is accepted and published by highly respected presses, who win awards for their work and who are recognized as leaders in their arts community were shocked to see that someone who was relatively an unknown, had been chosen over more qualified people.

A great example of what a poet laureate should be is Kathryn Byer who is recognized nationally and internationally for her work. FredChapell, former Poet Laureate has been published far and wide and is known throughout the literary world. Cathy SmithBowers and Joseph Bathanti, two recent poets laureate, also have outstanding resumes.

Some wonder, was the selection of Ms. Macon, who has now resigned, a deliberate poke at the literary community at large or was it complete ignorance as the governor has claimed. He indicated he did not know about the protocol whereby poets are recommended through the Arts Council and their works carefully examined before any of their names reach the governor’s desk. He said it was not written on the walls, so how was he to know? 

I was told that the Arts Council sent the governor a packet of information informing him of the credentials of past laureates and the manner in which they were chosen. I assume he will be forced to follow protocol now that Valerie Macon has resigned. 

It has certainly stirred up the poetry community and made North Carolina look inept to those in the country who follow such things. I received calls from Netwest members and from the local newspapers with questions about the botched appointment. The larger newspapers in this state have carried articles on the subject.

 Below are some links you might want to read for more information.

What do you think? Leave your comments at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Imitation – the greatest form of flattery

Recently I listened to leaders of three organizations, all similar in their work, discuss their passion for what they do. All three have become successful by helping others. All three said they are not in competition and actually work together when they can.

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 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Walk Down Memory Lane

In my files, I have pictures taken at NCWN West events and photos used in articles I've written about our members. I thought I'd share some of them today.


Glenda Barrett on right with her guest

Glenda, Wayne, Jayne, Lana, Nancy S, Nancy P, JC Walkup

Jo Carolyn Beebe 
Janice Moore, Karen Holmes, Brenda Ledford, Jo Carolyn Beebe, Carole Thompson

Lana Hendershott 

Paul Donovan, Karen Holmes, Glenda Beall

Gary Carden

Ed Southern, Executive Director of NCWN, at City Lights Books in Sylva
Leave a comment if you remember when or where the picture was taken.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

December will mark the fourth anniversary of the Netwest Writers blogsite

With some of our members announcing the anniversary of their blog site, I decided to go back and see if I could find the first post I made on the Netwest Writers site.

I had gone to the Fall Conference in November, 2007 in Winston-Salem. There I heard about setting up a free blog instead of a website. Netwest didn't have funds to pay an ongoing service for a website.  I came home and for a few weeks I practiced on setting up the blog hoping I'd not embarrass our members with my amateurish efforts. My hope was that our mountain writers would use this blog to further their opportunities to reach outside the far western part of the state to have their voices heard.
When Nicki Leone set up a new website for NCWN she gave Netwest the chance to be a part of that site. Anyone who goes to http://www.ncwriters.org/ will see where they can click on the Netwest blog.  The following is the first post I made that went out to the public.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

NCWN announced the new Executive Director

On Saturday at the NCWN Fall Writing and Publishing Conference in Winston-Salem, Ed Southern was introduced as the new Executive Director for NCWN, and he will take office on January 1, 2008. Ed is highly qualified to lead the writers’ network. He presently works with John F. Blair, publisher, as vice president of sales and marketing. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the NCWN since July 2005.

Some of you may know that I “announced” his position prematurely. My mistake. But, even though I haven’t talked with Ed, I feel that he is an excellent choice. We will hear more from him after he takes office. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts, politics, (cum laude) in 1994.

In conversations with Cynthia Barnett, present Executive Director, I learned the network had no particular marketing or public relations personnel. I feel that Ed Southern with his marketing background will increase the visibility of the network and then everyone, not only writers, will know what NCWN can do for them, and he will see that NCWN reaches out to writers and those who need writers anywhere in the state. I look forward to meeting him and making him aware of our NCWN West writers here in the mountains.

Posted by Glenda Council Beall at 6:22 PM

Labels: Cynthia Barnett, Ed Southern, John F. Blair


The Resident Curmudgeon said...

Glenda: Keep up the good work. I am enjoying your postings.

Saturday, December 8, 2007 8:58:00 PM EST

Kay said...

Hi Glenda,

Your blog is great! Your group may enjoy going to this Blogger site, it is extremely helpful!


I liked his ten tips for writing a blog...his whole site is excellent. Kay Lake

Sunday, December 9, 2007 1:53:00 PM EST

Post a Comment

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ed Southern - Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas

Just to let our readers know, our NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern isn't just running the Network, he writes books and reads his work and holds workshops as well.

Thursday, June 9, 12:00 pm
North Carolina History Center, Tryon Palace, 610 Pollock St., New Bern, NC.
NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern will read from and discuss his book Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas. He will also answer questions about the Network and the 2011 Squire Summer Writing Residency, to be held July 14-17 in New Bern.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Want to reach Ed Southern?

New Address:Ed Southern, Executive Director
North Carolina Writers' Network
P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120-1591


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ed Southern, Exe. Director for NCWN, readings

This is what our Exe. Director, Ed Southern is up to these days:

Feb 26,

Quail Ridge Books, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern will read from his new book, Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas. This story of the American Revolution, told by those who fought it, gives the reader some idea of what it was like to be part of a war when two states were ripped apart, but a nation was made.
Fri., Mar. 6, 5:00 p.m.Waldenbooks, 120 Market Street, Charleston, SC
Fri., Mar. 13, 7:00 p.m.Barnes & Noble, 1925 Hampton Inn Court, Winston-Salem
Sat., Mar. 14, 12:00-2:00 p.m.Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 2332 New Garden St., Greensboro

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ed Southern North Carolina Writers Network Director Visits Netwest

Ed Southern, Executive Director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, parent organization of Netwest, made a quick but effective visit to the western part of North Carolina to meet with writers in Sylva at City Lights Books and in Brasstown at the John C. Campbell Folk School on Thursday, October 16. We asked those attending what Netwest and NCWN can do for them as writers and heard from some who had questions about publishing and some who want to know how to find markets outside their local areas. In attendance were bloggers, playwrights, haiku poets, novelists, Appalachian historians and beginning writers at the meeting in Sylva. It was agreed that social activities among writers is important and a possible breakfast group is on the horizon in Jackson County.

At the Folk School, a number of Netwest members held a casual question and answer session with Ed. Topics ranged from teleconferencing possibilities in the future to the history of Netwest. Ed brought the face of NCWN to the far southwestern part of the state. He met members who are well-published, active and enthusiastic about writing and about Netwest. His visit encouraged members to continue with the fine literary organization that has been ongoing for years and he assured us that funding from NCWN is forthcoming. Members were delighted to hear him say that he’d like to see chapters like Netwest all across North Carolina. It was obvious that Netwest likes Ed Southern and Ed Southern respects Netwest.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ed Southern meets with writers in Sylva NC

Photos by Barry Beall

Ben Eller, author of Children of Sherlock Holmes and Gary Carden, Jackson County Representative for Netwest, meet with other writers at City Lights Books in Sylva to discuss how NCWN and Netwest can best serve members in the area.
On the right above, John Quinnett who writes haiku, lives in Bryson City, NC.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet Ed Southern in Netwest territory October 16

Anyone interested in writing is invited to meet Ed Southern, executive director of the North Carolina Writers' Network when he visits the Netwest area on Thursday, October 16. His first stop will be at City Lights bookstore at 2:00 PM in Sylva, NC.

Netwest county representatives and Glenda Beall, program coordinator for Netwest will also be there. Come out and learn what NCWN and Netwest can do for the literary community.

At 6:00 PM, Ed Southern will be at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC to meet with writers in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, and north Georgia. This is the first time a director for the NCWN has made the trip over this far west to speak with members and others interested in the writing community. Ed Southern has said Netwest is a model for what he'd like to see all over the state.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Have you seen this interview on youtube?

I ran across this video on youtube and wanted to share the site with our readers and members. This is Ed Southern, Exe. Director of NCWN in an interview.
Ed will be visiting the far southwestern part of the state of NC in October.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Top Ten Reasons I Have Enjoyed Being Program Coordinator for Netwest

1. I was able to bring onboard a corporate sponsor, United Community Bank, Inc..

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.

Glenda Beall

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hendersonville Writers met with Ed Southern

At lunch, Ed and Glenda Beall met with Lana Hendershott, Susan Snowden, Nancy Purcell and Bob Greenwald to discuss writing in Henderson

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.
Everyone appreciated his answering the many questions members and non-members asked about NCWN and his vision for the future.
Some quotes from those attending are " This was a good meeting. Maybe we can have another, maybe quarterly."
It was an excellent way for local writers to meet each other and make plans to form groups, readings and other events in the area.
Nancy Purcell who has been a Netwest Rep in Transylvania country for a couple of years, was delighted to meet possible leaders for Netwest in Henderson County. Her hope is to hold a couple of big writing workshops each year in Brevard and in Hendersonville.
What do you folks in those towns think about that idea?
Just click on comments at the bottom of this post and let us know.

Photos by Barry Beall

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tired but Inspired in Greensboro

I sit here in Greensboro, NC tired, but inspired after spending all day at the Elliot Center at the UNC-G campus. NCWN held the 2008 Spring Conference here and it is the first time I've attended the annual spring conference. I usually make it a priority to register for the Fall Conferences in Asheville and last November we drove to Winston-Salem.
Most presenters for the conference today were on faculty at UNC-G.
My favorite part of the day was the Publishing Panel consisting of Scott Douglas of Main Street Rag, Kevin Watson of Press 53, Jeanne Leiby of Southern Review and a man from the Georgia Review, but I never understood his name. After a short talk by each member of the panel, I realized once again how important it is to know your market. Read the guidelines carefully and follow them. While the writer may not know it, the guidelines are specific for a reason. Douglas said it is a matter of resources. He hires editors to read submissions therefore, he makes it clear he does not want simultaneous submissions. The reason is obvious. After he has paid an editor to read work that he cannot publish because it has been accepted somewhere else, he is out that money with nothing to show for it. I can't blame him. Although Scott has grown MSR into quite a good business over the years since I first met him, he says he still sweeps the floors and binds the books. "It is easier to find a person to read submissions than to find someone to bind books," he said.
I didn't know until today that he prints books for a number of other magazines. He is still a rebel in this business and not so snooty as the Georgia Review. Their representative said don't send your poetry to them unless you don't mind letting them "meddle" with it. I got the impression that they "edited" or "meddled" with everything that goes in the magazine.
Scott, on the other hand, wants the work you send him to be ready for the printer when he gets it. He doesn't want to have to rewrite or work too much to make changes to a submission. And don't try to make changes after he has it ready to print.

Listening to some of the stories they told today made me a little more understanding of the editor's and publisher's problems with writers who are inconsiderate and hard to work with, who won't follow guidelines and seem to have no understanding of how a book is made..
This panel covered everything a writer wants to know about submitting and publishing. I sat in on about an hour of Ed Southern's session on publishing and found a good discussion going there. I wish I had been there for the entire session.
Congratulations to Ed Southern and Virginia Freedman for the work they put in to bring us this great conference. Even though they had some challenges, no one knew it and things went off well.
I worked with Virginia and Ed at the registration tables and enjoyed meeting the writers, greeting them and seeing friends like Valerie Nieman, Katherine, who was in my JCCFS class in March, and Marlyn who came to Hayesville for our Lights in the Mountains conference and stayed four days. I enjoyed meeting Jan Parker and hope she is reading this blog now. I wish more of our Netwest members would attend the NCWN conferences. They are always interesting and fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

NCWN announced the new Executive Director

On Saturday at the NCWN Fall Writing and Publishing Conference in Winston-Salem, Ed Southern was introduced as the new Executive Director for NCWN and he will take office on January 1, 2008. Ed is highly qualified to lead the writers’ network. He presently works with John F. Blair, publisher, as vice president of sales and marketing. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the NCWN since July 2005.

Some of you may know that I “announced” his position prematurely. My mistake. But, even though I haven’t talked with Ed, I feel that he is an excellent choice. We will hear more from him after he takes office. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts, politics, (cum laude) in 1994.

In conversations with Cynthia Barnett, present Executive Director, I learned the network had no particular marketing or public relations personnel. I feel that Ed Southern with his marketing background will increase the visibility of the network and then everyone, not only writers, will know what NCWN can do for them, and he will see that NCWN reaches out to writers and those who need writers anywhere in the state. I look forward to meeting him and making him aware of our NCWN West writers here in the mountains.