STEPHEN SMITH: Writers Meet At Little River
If you're a writer living in North Carolina, you have a choice of support groups.
Local writing associations made up of authors with an interest in a particular genre abound. The North Carolina Writers' Network is alive and well online at ncwriters.org and offers conferences and workshops galore. And the North Carolina Poetry Society meets twice a year at the Weymouth Center for readings and workshops.
But the oldest of the state's writers' organizations is the North Carolina Writers' Conference. For the last 60 years, the NCWC has met at various locations around the state during the last weekend in July. Admission to the NCWC is by invitation or as a guest of a current member.
The 2009 conference will be held at Little River Golf and Resort on U.S. 15-501 between Carthage and Pinehurst and will honor short story writer and poet Ruth Moose at a banquet on Saturday, August 1.
Moose has been on the faculty of the University of North Carolina since 1996, and she has published two collections of short stories and four books of poetry. Her stories have appeared in Atlantic, Redbook, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review and other publications. She has also been a longtime book reviewer for The Pilot.
In addition to being honored at the Saturday banquet, Moose will give a poetry reading on Friday night. Members will also be treated to a 30-minute production of "A Thousand Things Time Will Never Let Us Say: The Correspondence of James and Katharine Boyd and Friends," which was presented in its entirety at the Weymouth Center in May.
On Saturday, a number of workshops and presentations are available to members. D.G. Martin, the host of "N.C. Bookwatch;" Faye Dasen, features editor of The Pilot and Kay Grismer of The Country Bookshop will present a program "On Interviews, Reviews, and Readings" at 9:45 a.m.
At 11 a.m. authors Eleanora E. Tate, Joyce Moyer Hostetter, and Lisa Williams Kline will present a workshop on "Writing for Children and Young Adults."
After a lunch buffet, the organization will hold its annual business meeting -- the NCWC has no bylaws or formal organization and is loosely predicated on the belief that writers will inevitability gravitate toward one another -- and "remembrances" of writers who have died since last year's meeting.
At 1:30 p.m., editor Georgann Eubanks will host "North Carolina Literary Trails of the Piedmont," with a variety of readers from the Piedmont. The evening banquet will feature tributes by Joseph Bathanti, Sally Buckner, John York, and Valerie Yow, plus written tributes by Doris Betts, Marianne Ginger, and Bland Simpson.
But the attraction for most of the writers in attendance at NCWC will be the hobnobbing. Writers use the time between and after programs to catch up on publications -- there will be a table at which recent works of the N.C. writers will be for sale -- and to share information about publishing. The hospitality room will be open most of the day for writers to "swap tales, share updates, discuss our craft, and revel in the camaraderie" (to quote Hal Sieber).
After the programs on Friday and Saturday evenings, Shelby and Linda Stephenson will hold an impromptu jam session, and writers are invited to unpack their chosen instruments and join in.
Writers are required to check weapons -- knives mostly -- at the door.
Contact Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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