2012 Carolinas Writers Conference

     The fourth annual Carolinas Writers Conference was held April 13-14, 2012.
     The conference presenters were the Anson County Writer's Club, the Hampton B. Allen Library and South Piedmont Community College.

Featured Presenters

Anthony Abbott

Anthony Abbott     Anthony S. Abbott is the author of two novels and six books of poetry, including the Pulitzer nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. His awards include the Novello Literary Award for Leaving Maggie Hope (2003), and the Oscar Arnold Young Award for The Man Who (2005).
     A native of San Francisco, Abbott was educated at the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts and Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. He received his A.B. from Princeton University, and his A.M. and Ph.D from Harvard University. He is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife Susan.
     Dr. Abbott's topic is "Poetry and the Secrets of the Heart."

Margaret Maron

Margaret Maron     Margaret Maron is the author of twenty-six novels and two collections of short stories. Winner of several major American awards for mysteries (Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity), her works are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into 16 languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America.
     A native Tar Heel, she still lives on her family's century farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, the setting for Bootlegger's Daughter, which is numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year. In 2008, she was honored with the North Carolina Award for Literature. (The North Carolina Award is the state’s highest civilian honor.)
     "Coming Home With the Bootlegger's Daughter"
Mrs. Maron will discuss how she brought her writing home to North Carolina after writing eight books and numerous short stories set in New York City where she lived for several years. She was under the impression that crime novels had to be set in a large urban locale and has been delighted to learn that readers in large urban locales find the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina as exotic as those large cities have seemed to her.
For more information, visit www.margaretmaron.com .

Session Leaders

      Dr. Tony Abbott, Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College, the author of six books of poetry, and immediate past president of the NC Poetry Society, will be offering a poetry workshop at the Fourth Carolinas Writers Conference. The subject of the workshop is “The Art of Revision,” and Dr. Abbott would like to use your poems to help teach the workshop. He has asked that each participant submit two poems for analysis, critique, and suggestions. In order for him to do this effectively, he must have the poems in advance. Anyone will be welcome to sit in on the workshop, but Dr. Abbott will not comment on poems that are not submitted in advance. There will not be time for more than 11 participants.
Submissions to the worskhop closed effective March 25.

     Michele Andrea Bowen is a native of St. Louis, Mo. She earned degrees in Psychology, Social Work, and Counseling Education and completed her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned graduate degrees in Public Health and United States History. The writing bug hit her on her way to becoming a history professor, and she wrote her first novel, Church Folk." Since then she has published Second Sunday, Holy Ghost Corner and Up at the College. www.micheleandreabowen.com
     Presentation: On Writing Christian Fiction and the African American Church.
     Reading Christian Fiction should make you come away feeling like you do when you've heard an incredible gospel song--the kind that has you up on your feet, and you walk away feeling like 'you've been to church.' This is an important genre in the area of contemporary fiction. Writing about life and culture in the black church is also very important to the dialogue of stories about Christian life in America. This workshop will provide information about the genre, what makes for good Christian Fiction, and why write in this area of fiction.

     Gary Carden is a full-time story teller (see bio on 2012 Story Tellers page).
     Presentation: Comparing and contrasting storytelling with written stories.

     Hope Clark is the editor and founder of FundsforWriters, an online resource for writers. "Other websites provide guidance on how to write, how to query, how to format manuscripts, and so on. We give you direction on the funding streams. We focus on markets, competitions, awards, grants, publishers, agents, and jobs for your writing abilities." She lives in south Carolina with her husband and her pet dachshund.

     Hal Duvall: I may be a prime example of “too little, too late,” or “Why change horses in the middle of the stream when you, the rider, are worn out?”
     I was a merchant all my life, beginning at age 10 when I first started helping my dad and granddad in the family hardware business. Didn’t do much in those early years--just hung around and absorbed the dust and the conversations.
     That was my business career in a nutshell--didn’t do much, but tried to remember “buy low, sell high.” I retired at the age of 66.
     Nearly ten years later, I had a conversation with a woman who had just moved to our town. In this conversation, I confessed that I had always wanted to write, but had never written anything. She said, “well?” and the next week I was sitting at the computer keyboard stumbling along and enjoying it!
     Now, at age 81, I have completed two novels and am working on a collection of anecdotes that I hope may make you chuckle or perhaps put a lump in your throat.
I propose to talk about two topics. The first is the absolute necessity of choosing a subject that you know a good bit about. If you’re faking it, the reader will know it very quickly and will stop reading. The second topic concerns the difficulty of persuading an agent, or a publisher, to take any time with someone who is “Ancient of Days” and probably won’t live long enough to write another word.

     Marjorie Hudson is author of Searching for Virginia Dare, a North Carolina Notable Book, and Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, named Best Short Story Collection of 2011 by Perpetual Folly. Her writing has been published widely in literary journals and has won many honors, including a 2012 NC Arts Council Fellowship. She has been editing and coaching writers for 30 years, and now leads writing classes at colleges, conferences, festivals, cafes, and her own Kitchen Table Workshops. See her blog: Kitchen Table Writers
     Presentation: Sparking the Five Senses
     What do the taste of a peach, red lipstick, a whiff of curry, a leather jacket, and a favorite song have in common? They are all sensory elements of life that make it sweet—such elements can deepen the power of your writing. We’ll taste life together, write together, look at work that makes us fall in love all over again, and use the techniques of master writers. Writers should bring pen and paper and comfortable clothes. Suitable for poets, nonfiction writers, and fiction writers alike.

     Marshall Bruney is the pen name of Elbert Marshall and Sandy Bruney, co-authors of "Plotz." Marshall has 28 years experience as a newspaper reporter, sportswriter and editor. Bruney has 10 years experience as a reporter, columnist and editor and is the author of three other books.
     Presentation: How to co-write a book without committing homicide.
     The two will share tips on the perils and triumphs of merging two writing styles into one without compromising either’s integrity.

     Mary Newsom has worked as an award-winning newspaper journalist for more than three decades as reporter, editor and editorial board member. A graduate of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Journalism, she has worked in Fayetteville, Roanoke, Va., and Charlotte and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2007-08. Since left the Charlotte Observer in 2011 to join the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, where she is creating PlanCharlotte.org, a new website devoted to journalism about urban affairs. Her fiction writing is rudimentary at best and remains hidden in a drawer of an old rolltop desk.
     Presentation: A pro's tips on prose
     Ever wondered whether you, too, could turn your nosiness about other people's doings into a paying career as a journalist? Or have you envied the way some people's op-ed submissions seem to always get accepted, while yours languish? Do the ways of print journalism strike you as A) inscrutable, or B) pointless, since everyone knows print will die any day now? Longtime newspaper editor and writer Mary Newsom's session is suitable for wannabe journalists, novelists-in-waiting, devoted letters-to-the-editor writers or anyone curious about the mysteries of successful print journalism.

     Dakota Lee is a 16-year-old girl who was a published author of the book "Flash of Freedom" at 12 years old. She is now working on her second book, a sci-fi thriller, and a third book which is collaborative project with two other adult authors. When she is not writing, she is riding her horse Sonny-D, taking acting lessons, and, oh, is a sophomore in public high school. Her unique experiences as a teen author make the aspect she brings to writing intriguing, and her presentation is not one to be missed.
     Presentation: Inspired; How to live in God’s plan for your book and stop struggling with self-doubt.
     Self-doubt comes in to you in many different ways, and manifests in a person’s life in more aspects than realized. Come be inspired the way Dakota has been, and watch the plan for your book fall together easier than breathing air as the Holy Spirit works through your fingers to change your life, and those of the people meant to read your book.

     Dicy McCullough, author of Tired of my Bath and Tired of School writes for her local newspaper, The Salisbury Post. She is a published poet and a contributing author for the book, This One’s for the Birds! A retired teacher, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, N.C., where she was recently inducted into the Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, and a Master of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC. www.dicymcculloughbooks.com
     Presentation:Dicey will talk about her journey as a writer from poet to short stories to published author. She will share helpful hints for making the journey easier, including using tools such as social media.

     Karen MacMurrayis internet marketer, librarian and author. Karen's books include: The Burrowing Owl, an Endangered Species; Best Presentation Secrets (ebook); and Animal Families/Familias Animalias.
     Presentation:How to Promote Your Book Online

  • An easy way to do the most effective ways to promote yourself and your book.
  • How to put most of your promotions on auto pilot.
  • How to become an authority in your genre.
  • Learn how John Locke (the best selling author on Amazon) promotes himself and his books.
  • An easy way to increase your web visitors and readers by a factor of 7.
  • Learn how to leverage what you have and make yourself go viral.
  • Easy ways to create media promotions and make it work for you.
View slide show, "How to Promote Your Book Online"
View lecture outline, Promote Your Book Online 2

     Fred Parker is a partner with the law firm of James, McElroy & Diehl in Charlotte, N.C. His primary practice concerns helping clients with business and individual disputes. In addition, Fred counsels individual and small business clients on intellectual property issues in contracts, including those persons with “Talent” (see Fred’s blog article, “You’ve Got Talent – Now What?” at http://jmdlaw.com).
     Presentation: Books, Art, and Music in the Law and in Contracts
     Fred’s program will provide a brief real world discussion of current intellectual property issues facing authors and artists. This will include 1) a short summary of applicable laws governing copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, 2) examples of contracts that can reinforce or dilute the artist’s or author’s rights, and 3) questions, answers, and discussions of typical disputes over intellectual property.

     Adrienne Trent is an aspiring author and avid book blogger who lives in Charlotte, N.C. Her Blog, Dren’s B-Spot, has been the central hub for her love of paranormal romance and urban fantasy for the last two years. She’s an active member for Carolina Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. She’s currently working on her first novel.
     Presentation: Conquering Social Media.
      Adrienne will talk about the Do’s and Don’ts with self-promotion with Social Media Tools. She’ll share tips and tricks to help published and aspiring authors maneuver the expanding world of Social Media to help create a positive and interactive profile to fans and readers.

     Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor of Press 53, a small literary publishing company in Winston-Salem, N.C., that opened in October 2005. As a publisher and editor, Kevin has worked with writers ranging from newly published authors to winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. He is also an award-winning short story author and poet, whose works have appeared in numerous publications. Kevin also serves as an advisor on adaptation of short stories to screenplays for the screenwriting faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.
     Presentation: The Future of Publishing:
     New technologies have forever changed the process and business of publishing. In this presentation, Kevin Morgan Watson, founding editor of Press 53, will discuss the current and future trends in publishing, from traditional printed books to ebooks, and how writers are using these technologies to find readers and success.

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