"The eighth annual Carolinas Writers Conference was held April 16, 2016, at South Piedmont Community College's Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

Attendees enjoy listening to Shelby Stephenson, N.C. Poet Laureate, as he presents "Poetry and Perhaps a Song."

The conference committee with author Robert Macomber, who made his third appearance at the conference in 2016. From left, Kaye Ratliff, Sandy Bruney, J.A. Bolton, Macomber, Karen MacMurray, Rufus Getzen, Beverley Getzen, and Imari Scarbrough.

Workshop Handouts

Karen MacMurray
Social Media Made Easy
Lecture Notes
Photograph Resources
Social Media Image sizes
50 Free Giveaways

Michelle Buckman
Layering Plot and Characters workshop handout

Shelby StephensonN.C. Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson grew up on a small farm near Benson, in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. “Most of my poems come out of that background,” he says, “where memory and imagination play on one another. I have written many poems about the mules we worked until I was in the seventh grade and, after that–the tractor. My early teachers were the thirty-five foxhounds my father hunted. The trees and streams, fields, the world of my childhood–all that folklore–those are my subjects.”

After leaving the farm for college, he graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (B.A. 1960) where he also studied law, University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1967), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D. 1974), and worked as a radio and television announcer, salesman, right-of-way agent, and farmer. He was professor of English and editor of Pembroke Magazine until his retirement in 2010. The state of North Carolina presented him with the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature. And he has received the Bellday Poetry Prize, the Oscar Arnold Young Award, the Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize, and the Playwright's Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize.

In addition to a poetic documentary: Plankhouse(with photographs by Roger Manley), he has published Middle Creek Poems, Carolina Shout!, Finch’s Mash, The Persimmon Tree Carol, Poor People, Greatest Hits, Fiddledeedee, Possum, Playing Dead, Play My Music Anyhow, and Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl.

Robert MacomberAward Winning Historical Author Robert N. Macomber is an internationally recognized lecturer, a former defense consultant, and an accomplished seaman. He has won the top regional, state, and national literary awards in his genre: historical literary fiction.

The novels of his Honor Series describe the life and career of a U.S. naval officer, Peter Wake, from the Civil War in Florida to the Great White Fleet in 1908. From 1882 on, Wake works with the Office of Naval Intelligence, America’s first espionage agency, on missions around the world. These maritime escapades highlight the U.S. Navy’s critical role in the expansion of America from a continental country in the mid-19th century to a global power in the early 20th century. Through his novels, Mr. Macomber illuminates significant events of world history, which served as the foundation for the world as we know it today.

The years of extensive research for each novel include making the voyages, visiting the countries, and learning the cultures. A team of experts, in various arcane fields, assists Mr. Macomber with intriguing details, and he is one of few novelists who offer endnotes for the reader. This attention to detail creates avid fans. Honor Series readers call themselves “Wakians” after the main character, and they eagerly await his next thriller every year.

Released in the Fall of 2015, his newest novel, the twelfth one is The Assassin’s Honor. There are twenty-two novels planned for the series.

In addition to his literary work, Mr. Macomber is an international lecturer. He has been guest author and lecturer onboard the Queen Mary 2 and her sister Cunard Queens, the Silversea fleet, and other luxury ocean liners. He appears at venues around the United States as well, speaking on forty-eight topics featuring subjects on maritime history and writing.

His defense consultant work included a decade of annual projects for the U.S. Army Center for Analysis, where he was named a “Distinguished Author.” He has conducted many briefings to the Office of Naval Intelligence, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. European Command, NATO headquarters, and other organizations.

Mr. Macomber grew up on the waters along the southwest coast of Florida. By age seventeen, he was an offshore racing skipper and raced for the next thirty-two years in Florida, the Bahamas, and Mexico. When not traveling the world on research treks, lecture tours, or book signings, he lives on Pine Island, the same coast where he grew up. When not writing, he enjoys sailing among the more remote islands and cooking the exotic cuisines from his novels.

Learn more at http://www.RobertMacomber.com.

Amish Fiction Author Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, N.C., and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, on Facebook at Amy Clipston Books, and on Twitter at @AmyClipston.

Amy's books include the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, A Gift of Grace (3/2009), A Promise of Hope (3/2010), A Place of Peace (2/2011), A Life of Joy (1/2012), and A Season of Love (6/2012); Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel Series, A Hopeful Heart (5/2013), A Mother’s Secret (4/2014), A Dream of Home (11/2015), A Simple Prayer (5/15); the Bird-in-Hand Heirloom Series, The Forgotten Recipe (11/2015); Amish Anthologies, An Amish Kitchen (12/2012), An Amish Cradle (2/2015), An Amish Christmas Gift (11/2015), An Amish Market (1/2016); Seasonal, A Plain and Simple Christmas (9/2010), Naomi’s Gift (8/2011), Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection (9/2012); Young Adult, Roadside Assistance (4/2011), Reckless Heart (4/2012), (Kauffman Amish Bakery young adult book), Destination Unknown (2/2014), Miles from Nowhere (2/2015); and Non-Fiction A Gift of Love (2/2014).

Award-winning writer Michelle Buckman is an international conference speaker who loves to help writers reach new heights by exploring the intricacies of wording, layered plots, and character development. She is the author of six novels including Amazon’s best-selling women’s fiction Rachel's Contrition. She is also a freelance editor who takes pride in mentoring her clients to success. Besides writing novels and teaching workshops, her writing career has encompassed being a newspaper columnist, magazine columnist, documentary screenwriter, and senior editor of a Charlotte magazine. She was born in New York and raised in Canada, but has lived in the south for over forty years. Walking on the beach is both her inspiration and favorite pastime.

Chris RoerdenA 50-year publishing industry veteran, Editor Chris Roerden has edited authors published by St. Martin’s Press, Forge, Berkley Prime Crime, Harlequin, Rodale, Viking, Midnight Ink, and many others. She’s written and ghostwritten a game and 11 books, including two national award-winners that help writers get published: Don’t Murder Your Mystery (recipient of the Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction Book; finalist for Anthony and Macavity awards; Writer’s Digest Book Club selection), and its all-genre edition Don’t Sabotage Your Submission (recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award; Florida Writers Ass’n. Best Educational/Instructional Book Award + Royal Palm Book of the Year; finalist for ForeWord Review Writing Book of the Year Award).

Among the authors she currently edits are the 5 thrillers (so far) of the 2nd series by multi-award winner Hank Phillippi Ryan, former national president of Sisters in Crime; standalones by mystery authors Rosemary Harris, Kate Flora, Jane Cleland, and Asheville-based Bryan E. Robinson; and the series of 3 mysteries by SC-based David Burnsworth.

Chris is past president of a 250-member trade association of commercial and university presses in the Midwest (MAPA); past board member of SE Mystery Writers of America (6 years), judge of MWA’s annual scholarship competition (5 years) and its national chair (another 3 years); and long-time member of Sisters in Crime and Mensa. With a Master’s in English and a BA summa cum laude, she was instructor of writing for 3 universities from Maine to Milwaukee and taught 350+ writing workshops throughout the US and Canada, and in S. Korea for UNESCO. Visit her at www.writersinfo.info

Kay McSpaddenAuthor Kay McSpadden has taught high school English in rural South Carolina since 1977. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Winthrop University and earned national certification in English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2001 and 2010.

Since 1999 she has written op-ed columns for the Viewpoint page of the Charlotte Observer and currently writes on alternating Saturdays. Kay has written and recorded radio commentaries for WFAE, the Charlotte affiliate of National Public Radio, and she contributed to the series Trust Matters, which won the Delta Sigma Chi Award, the Radio and Television News Directors Association Award, and the 2005 Edward R. Murrow Regional Award.

A selection of some of her Observer columns and radio commentaries was published in November 2007 as Notes from a Classroom: Reflections on Teaching. Her first novel, Feeding the Ghosts, was a finalist in the 2004 Novello Contest. Her short stories “Phlurb,” “Communion,” and “Axis Mundi” have been past winners in the Anne Dowd Gilleylen Quarles Fiction contest for the Charlotte Writers Club. In 2012 her story “Why Women Moan in Bed” won the Norman Mailer Fiction Contest, which included a summer fellowship in Brooklyn studying with Jeffery Renard Allen. Her story “The Proxy” was a finalist in the Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest this year.

Kay and her husband Randy, a Presbyterian minister, have two sons, Jamie and Will.

Terry RouechePlaywright Terry Roueche grew up in Salisbury, NC. He has lived in South Carolina for 45 years where he started his career as a newspaper reporter. He is the author of some fifty plays that have been produced across the US as well as in Canada, England, and Croatia. His plays have won numerous awards and are published by Off The Wall Plays of London, England.

Roueche has conducted playwriting seminars for more than twenty years in the Carolinas and taught playwriting at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Roueche is past president of the Scriptwriters of SC Inc. He is the founder and executive director of Main Street Contemporary Theater in Rock Hill where he conducts a monthly scriptwriting workshop.

Roueche and his wife, Carolina, have four children.

Karen MacMurray Internet Marketer Karen MacMurray is a retired librarian and an author. As an internet junkie, her interests extend to historical research and internet marketing and she is published in both areas. “Historical Research for Novel Writers, A Visual Approach” and “How to Become A Best Selling Author, Using Powerful and Easy-to-make Videos then Leveraging Them Over the Top” are the results. She is presently working on her second book in the Book Promotion Series (which has yet to be named) about how to use “the other media” to promote your book as well. The workshop she will be conducting is “Social Media Made Easy”. This is a hands on workshop designed to show you how you can create a following of readers by building a list and get your name out across the web in an easily with one hour a week or less. (opt) bring your laptop and passwords to get into your social media platforms so you can leave empowered.

A limited number of T-Shirts from the conference are available in sizes medium, large, X-large and XX-large at $15 each plus $5.00 shipping and handling. They are blue with the gold CWC logo. To order, send check or money order payable to the Anson County Writers Club and mail to T-Shirts, Anson County Writers Club, P.O. Box 363, Wadesboro NC 21870.

Shelby Stephenson
Keynote Address: "Poetry and Perhaps a Song"
Mr. Stephenson will host an afternoon workshop of readings and discussion. Bring poems to read and share.

Robert Macomber
“Planning Your Writing Career: Organizing & Starting Your Literary Work” Join award-winning novelist Robert N. Macomber for practical advice on how to get your project on track, then completed.
“Marketing Yourself And Your Work: The How-To On Spreading The Word With A Limited Budget” National award-winning author Robert N. Macomber will give practical ideas for promoting yourself and your book with emphasis on having fun while doing it!

Amy Clipston
"Keeping up with Deadlines" In this workshop, you will learn how to organize your writing process in order to stay on track with due dates and curb stress. Whether you write full-time or you work a nine-to-five job and draft your novels at night, this session will help you keep your book projects on track in order to meet your deadlines and keep your editor happy. Topics will include: brainstorming, plotting, outlining, and organization.

Michelle Buckman
"Plot and Character Layering" Take your story from being a run-of-the-mill surface story to being something that will speak to readers on a deeper level and linger in their minds long after the book is closed. Layering creates more realistic characters and a plot that keeps readers glued to the page. Examples will be given from other works, and then you will be pressed through steps to develop the same complexities in your manuscript.

Chris Roerden
"What Editors Look For" Whether you aim to Self- or Trad Publish, you want your writing to be the best it can be. Learn tips, no-nos, and must-dos to smooth your way to print or byte, popularity and profit, from a career book editor and former university instructor of writing.
"Don't Murder Your Manuscript" Kidnap key techniques from mysteries to enrich all your writing, capture emotion, steal the hearts of readers, and arrest the attention of editors.

Kay McSpadden
"Tell All the Truth But Tell it Slant" The Art of the Short Story." Nothing gets at the truth better than fiction, and no fiction is as challenging to write as a well-crafted short story. Participants will discuss the elements of good stories and do several close readings.
"The Truth and Nothing But the Truth--Sort of: Writing Effective Essays" No other skill is as useful or versatile as essay writing. Whether you are writing for print publication, blogging online, or taking the SAT, knowing how to structure an engaging essay is essential. Participants will discuss the elements of good essays and do several close readings.

Terry Roueche
"Playwriting Workshop" Participants will work through a crash course in how to write a play from start to finish and then how and where to market their play.
Workshop Outline:
1. Understanding the world of a playwright -why write a play, what theaters look for, how to market your play
2. How to type your play, format is very important in the playwriting world
3. Understanding play structure - what structure goes in a successful play, 4 things a playwright must do, beginning / middle / end, plot, character development, conflict, story line, tension, action, false climax, climax, resolution, planting, subtext, symbols, stage directions, stage areas and when to use it, theme
4. How to evaluate/critique your play - how to workshop your play
5. 12 good tips about playwriting

Karen MacMurray
"Social Media Made Easy" In this workshop you will learn the importance of different social media platforms and their strengths and weaknesses. You will learn how to take advantage of free programs to promote your book or event throughout the web. You will learn what a Scheduler is and how to easily post interesting articles, videos, podcasts etc you have curated. You will learn how to organize your materials and utilize a Posting Calendar. You will learn about building a ”list” using an opt-in form and creating a giveaway to entice people to sign up on your list.

Workshop leaders participated in a panel discussion at the conclusion of the conference.