The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference

GREENSBORO, NC—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This year, the Network will introduce a new programming feature: instead of a traditional keynote address, attendees can choose between two special sessions at the end of the day—for no additional charge.

The Spring Conference offers a full day of workshops, panels, conversations, and more. Nancy Peacock, author of the novel The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson, will lead a two-part fiction workshop. Jonathan Farmer, Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor of At Length magazine and the poetry critic for Slate, will lead a two-part creative nonfiction workshop. Registration for the NCWN 2014 Spring Conference is now open.

Other offerings include poetry workshops with Mark Smith-Soto and John Thomas York; fiction workshops with Kim Church and Drew Perry; and a workshop titled “Writing from Experience” led by Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan, appropriate for writers of all genres. The dynamic tandem of Carrie Knowles and Peggy Payne will teach writers to “Market Your Book—with Imagination.”

The day’s program includes a panel discussion, “Writing about War” with Robin Greene, Paul Stroebel, and Sharon Raynor. Award-winning children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons will introduce would-be authors to the field through her workshop, “So You Want to Write a Children’s Book.” And bestselling author Linda Rohrbough will lead a workshop titled “How to Make an Elevator Pitch,” a class that is highly encouraged for those attendees wanting to take advantage of the Speed Pitch special session at the end of the day.

Attendees can pre-register for one of two special sessions.

The first, “Speed Pitch,” will afford registrants the opportunity to receive feedback from professional editors on their manuscript pitches. Each registrant who signs up for Speed Pitch will sit down with each of the four book pros taking part and have exactly one minute to pitch their book.

“Imagine you’re in an elevator, and an editor or literary agent steps on,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “Speed Pitch is an opportunity to hone exactly what you’d say to get him or her to sign you on the spot—in the time it takes to reach your floor.”

The second special session is “One City, One Prompt.” In this session, which attendees must preregister for, Greensboro poet and facilitator Jacinta V. White will provide an overview of the One City, One Prompt program, and begin an opening dialogue on this year’s theme: “Begin Again.” Jacinta will then provide a prompt and attendees will write. The session will close with sharing of and reflections on the work the prompt produced, as well as some brief information for those who might want to bring One City, One Prompt to their own towns.

In addition to new programming, familiar features will remain, including faculty readings, the open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conference-goers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Pre-registration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

The NCWN 2014 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record. UNCG’s Creative Writing Program—a co-sponsor of the Spring Conference—will provide free parking for registrants in the adjacent Oakland Avenue Parking Deck.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

About Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall is publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Literary Review. Visit his website at

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