The abundance of writers in our state brings many opportunities to appreciate the written word. Literary festivals and conferences bring writers and would-be writers together with successful authors who share their knowledge through sessions, workshops and readings. Members of the public can meet a favorite author or hear a reading from a favorite book, and communities benefit from keeping readers and writers connected.
See the Artful Traveler’s Guide to Literary Festivals at YouTube:
With a membership of 1,500 the North Carolina Writers’ Network is the oldest and largest statewide literary organization in the country. It holds its 2010 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 24, in the Elliott University Center at UNC Greensboro. The conference brings together hundreds of writers for workshops, readings, networking and discussion.
Fred Chappell, North Carolina Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2002, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. Workshops will be conducted by Holly Goddard Jones, author of Girl Trouble; poet Scott Owens, author of Paternity and four other poetry collections; Keith Flynn, editor of the Asheville Poetry Review; award-winning filmmaker Nathan Ross Freeman and others. The conference also will include readings by faculty and attendees and a panel discussion with editors from literary magazines and publishers. For more information or to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.
Founded in 1985, the North Carolina Writers’ Network serves writers at every stage of development, builds audiences for literature, advocates for the literary arts and for literacy and provides information and support services. Consider joining the network to take advantage of benefits including discounts on workshops, conferences and other network events, a subscription to The Writers’ Network News, free classified ads on network’s Web site and much more. There are a variety of membership levels starting at $75. For more information or to join, visit www.ncwriters.org/join or call (336) 293-8844.
The Anson County Writers’ Club presents the Second Annual Carolinas Writers Conference Saturday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. Featured writers will include Michael Malone, author of 11 internationally-acclaimed novels, including The New York Times bestseller The Killing Club; Ellyn Bache, whose book Safe Passage became a film starring Susan Sarandon and Sam Sheppard; and Chris Roerden, best known for her award-winning books for writers including Don’t Sabotage Your Submission: Insider Information from a Career Editor to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A. Sessions and workshops will include Writing Science Fiction; Putting Harry Potter Magic in Your Novel;and Becoming a Poet. An author’s reception will be held Friday, April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Olde Mill Gallery at Southern Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor Center for conference presenters, sponsors and attendees. For more information or to register, visit www.ansoncountywritersclub.org/carolinaswritersconference.html.
Western Carolina University’s Eighth Annual Spring Literary Festival brings 11 featured writers to the campus for presentations and book signings. The program includes a Poet Laureate’s N.C. Poets Panel featuring John Amen, Susan Davis and Carole Boston Weatherford; The Gilbert Chappell Distinguished Poetry Reading by student poets; and presentations by Jill McCorkle, author of eight books including The Cheer Leader and Final Vinyl Days; Dennis Covington, whose memoir Salvation on Sand Mountain was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award; and Patricia Smith, whose poetry collection about Hurricane Katrina, Blood Dazzler, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. The festival runs from Monday, March 22, through Thursday, March 25, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.litfestival.org or call (828) 227-7264. Visit the Literary Festival’s blog at litfestival.blogspot.com.
Writers’ festivals and conferences take place across North Carolina throughout the year. Here are some other gatherings to explore: “Coming Home” is the theme for the Fifth Annual Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville www.cmlitfest.org held Friday, Sept. 10, and Saturday, Sept. 11. The Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming in Greenville www.ecu.edu/lithomecoming celebrates the region’s writers and their works. It will take place Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18, with the theme “Contrasting Cultural Expressions: Perceptions of Place and Self.” The sixth edition of the BOOKMARKS Festival in Winston-Salem www.bookmarksbookfestival.org Saturday, Sept. 11, includes author readings, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities.