2010 Carolinas Writers Conference

     The second annual Carolinas Writers Conference was held on Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

     The conference presenters were the Anson County Writer's Club, the Hampton B. Allen Library and South Piedmont Community College.

Featured Presenters

Michael Malone     Michael Malone is the author of 11 internationally acclaimed novels, including the classic Handling Sin, Uncivil Seasons, The Last Noel, and the NYT bestseller The Killing Club. His new novel The Four Corners of the Sky was published in 2009 and was also a national bestseller. He is currently at work on the fourth book in his "Hillston" quartet.
     He has also written plays, television programs for ABC, NBC and Fox, a collection of short stories Red Clay, Blue Cadillac: Stories of 12 Southern Women, and two books of non-fiction, one on film, one on Jungian typology. His many essays and literary reviews have appeared in such magazines and journals as Harper’s, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Playboy, Partisan Review, Yale Review and the Wilson Quarterly.
     Among his prizes are the O Henry, the Edgar, the Writers Guild Award and the Emmy for ABC's One Life to Live, where he was headwriter for much of a decade. He has taught at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore and is currently a professor in Theater Studies at Duke University, where he teaches film, television and theater. He lives in Hillsborough, N.C. with his wife Dr. Maureen Quilligan, R Florence Brinkley Professor of English at Duke.

Ellyn Bache     A native of Washington, D.C., Ellyn Bache studied English at the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has resided in Wilmington for over 20 years, but now divides her time between the Tar Heel State and Pennsylvania.
     Ellyn Bache's newest book, Daughters of the Sea, is a Reviewers Choice Book of the Year nominee and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Another book, Safe Passage, starred Susan Sarandon Sam Sheppard in the film version. Bache has written eight novels as well as a short story collection, books for young people and a nonfiction journal.
     Among her other titles are: Holiday Miracles: A Christmas/Hanukkah Story, Festival in Fire Season, The Activist's Daughter and Riggs Park. Visit her Web site at www.ellynbache.com.

Chris Roerden     Chris Roerden is best known for her award-winning books for writers: Don't Sabotage Your submission-Insider Information from a Career Editor to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A., and its earlier version Don't Murder Your Mystery-24 Fiction Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript.
     In her 44 years in publishing, Chris has edited thousands of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, including those of authors published by St. Martin’s Press, Berkley Prime Crime, Walker & Co., Midnight Ink, Intrigue, Oceanview, Rodale, and Viking. Of the 11 books and a game she’s written, she ghosted all but four. Her books on writing have won four awards, two of them national: the prestigious Agatha for Best Nonfiction and the 2009 Benjamin Franklin for Literary Criticism; and were shortlisted for five additional national awards, including the Anthony, the Macavity, USA Best Books, and ForeWord Magazine’s Writing Book of the Year.
      Chris is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maine and a former university instructor of writing. She is past president of a regional trade association of 250 commercial and university presses, and she chairs the Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy 2010 Scholarship Program. Most of all she enjoys filling invitations from across the US and Canada to present her popular workshops, in which she shares insider information about how publishing decisions are made, and steps writers through exercises to expand their use of techniques that help develop each writer’s unique voice. Her website is www.writersinfo.info.

Session Leaders

Suzanne Adair: Suzanne Adair Suzanne Adair is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Historical Novel Society, and the North Carolina Writers Network. Paper Woman, the first book of her mystery/suspense series set during the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, received the 2007 Patrick D. Smith Literature Award. The third book, Camp Follower, was nominated for the 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Historical Mystery/Suspense and the 2009 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. Visit her web site www.suzanneadair.com and author blog www.suzanneadair.typepad.com for more information and an event calendar.

Karen-Eve BayneKaren-Eve Bayne This international performer, facilitator, and speaker has returned to the NC mountains to live after 15+ years in Europe. As a nontraditional storyteller, she entertains, teaches and helps listeners navigate the 21st century. Karen-eve brings a fresh approach to this art form with her ‘Stories for Our Time’. Using a mixture of European tales, modern stories and the wisdom of the Ancients, she enthralls listeners in classrooms, businesses, parties, etc. As a former Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and international Business director, she brings an understanding and background that enriches any business meeting, workshop or event with effective and intelligent entertainment and training. She is the creator & Director of the “Do Tell Storyfest” (July 10) in Hendersonville. visit her at www.midnightstorytellers.com or www.dotellfestival.org.

Barbara Thomas and Joy BrownBarbara Thomas and Joy Brown are sisters, and each has written an autobiographical novel. Barbara’s book, Just Pick Up The Pieces, was published in 2006 and begins with the suicidal death of their mother in their hometown of St. Augustine, Florida, when Barbara was eleven and Joy was eight. It carries the reader through a two-year period of devastation, turmoil, and hearbreak which culminates in their being placed in Epworth Orphanage in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1948. Their alcoholic father died two weeks after they were placed there. At the close of her book, Barbara clearly overcomes the emotional backlash of early misfortune and resolves to get on with her life in a positive manner. The tragedies didn’t bode so well for Joy, though, and she was left with a tangled web of emotional turbulence, unresolved and locked deep within, that wounded her soul and caused her ongoing grief and pain. At the request of many readers of Just Pick Up The Pieces, Joy has written a sequel and sister-book which answers the oft-asked question, “Whatever happened to Joy?” Her book, Joy Lost… and Found, picks up where Barbara’s leaves off. By telling her amazing story, which includes 30 years of recovery from alcoholism, Joy has truly come full circle from the unspeakable tragedy experienced in August of 1946. Hers is a story of triumph over tragedy and a testimony to the divine spark deep within every human being. Barbara is a retired teacher and lives with her husband, Norm, on Lake Murray near Chapin, S.C. She enjoys writing and gardening and often speaks on the history and folklore of the Dutch Fork area where they live. She is active in her church, singing in the choir and serving as church historian. Joy makes her home in Monroe, N.C., with her Pomeranian, Lucy. Retired from her career in advertising, she is an instrument-rated commercial pilot, a professional photographer, an artist in several media, an accomplished pianist and arranger, a lay minister, and now an author. Joy’s life is filled with music and service to God and others at her nearby church, and much time is spent in helping others in recovery from addiction. Joy and Barbara will lead a workshop on 'How to Write Your Memoirs."

Michelle Buckman
Michelle Buckman, iterary novelist, newspaper columnist and freelance writer with twenty years in the field, is the author of four novels: A Piece of the Sky, Pretty Maids All in a Row, 2008 Christy Award Young Adult Fiction Finalist Maggie Come Lately, and My Beautiful Disaster. Her fifth novel will be out spring 2010. She has been a featured author at the South Carolina Book Festival, a workshop instructor at numerous conferences and has mentored many writers on their path to publication. She speaks at schools, churches and book clubs where she is renowned for her dynamic discussions on writing and faith. She loves socializing with other writers and discussing technique and craft. She was born in New York and raised in Canada, but has lived in the south for over 30 years. She currently resides in South Carolina with her husband and five children. Walking on the Carolina beaches is both her inspiration and her favorite pastime.


Barbara ColeBarbara M. Cole recently retired as a Professor of English and Humanities at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N,C. Her life is intricately tied to and defined by her 43-year classroom career, writing and traveling for personal study on-site in many locations around the world and with students on Humanities field trips in Washington, DC, New York City, London and Paris. Her writing has been focused on children’s stories, especially for the picture book genre. Three of her books have been published: Texas Star, Wash Day and Anna and Natalie.
Barbara grew up on a farm in Anson County in a family who loved the land and what grew on that land ... whether grains, flowers, trees, grass or animals. Responsibilities of farm life limited travel, even simple vacations, but an ingenious mother made trips to the fields, woods, and meadows exciting adventures that travelers to exotic places would envy. Those early “travel” experiences close-to-home prepared Barbara to see and appreciate “land” in other countries and in cities once she began her teaching career. She considers herself fortunate to have studied in the Fulbright program in Japan and Korea, Egypt and Israel, and India and Nepal. For two summers she participated in an archaeological project in Israel. She also studied in the summer vacations at the University of Hawaii, in England, and in Syria.
Barbara attributes her success in teaching and in writing children’s stories to her early beginnings in Anson County with her family who taught her to see the world through their eyes and to appreciate all things and all creatures both great and small.

Claudia DainClaudia Dain attended the University of Southern California as an English major. While it had become obvious to her that almost everyone enjoyed kissing, it was equally obvious that very few people enjoyed writing. This was as peculiar to her as, well, not enjoying kissing. The idea of combining kissing and writing seemed the obvious course of action. While Claudia does not claim to have invented the romance novel, she certainly has a lot of fun describing kisses and inventing men to bestow them upon. Claudia was first published in 2000, is a two-time Rita finalist, and a USA Today Bestselling author. Which just goes to prove that you can make a career out of kissing and writing about it. www.claudiadain.com.

M. Scott DouglassM. Scott Douglass is publisher and managing editor of Main Street Rag in Charlotte, N.C. Main Street Rag Publishing Company has been publishing a print magazine: The Main Street Rag, uninterrupted since 1996. Among its features are poetry, short fiction, photography and graphic images, essays, interviews, reviews and commentary. His company also one of the most prolific publishes books in North Carolina. Although best known for publishing poetry, Main Street Rag also publishes short fiction collections and through its bindery produces books for other publishers as well. Details of Main Street Rag’s operations can be found at www.mainstreetrag.com

David DrakeDavid Drake (born 1945) sold his first story (a fantasy) at age 20. His undergraduate majors at the University of Iowa were history (with honors) and Latin (BA, 1967). He uses his knowledge of both subjects extensively in his fiction.
David entered Duke Law School in 1967 and graduated five years later (JD, 1972). He was drafted into the army during law school and served in 1970 as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse, in Viet Nam and Cambodia. He has used his legal and particularly his military experiences extensively in his fiction also.
David practiced law as Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Chapel Hill for eight years, drove a city bus for one year, and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981. He was one of three partners in Carcosa, a small-press publishing house, and was Assistant Editor of Whispers magazine from the second issue.
He has sold over a hundred short stories and has written, co-written, or edited close to 150 books. He is probably best known for his military science fiction, but his work spans a wide realm within the fantasy/SF genre, including humor, thriller, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, space opera and historical.
He reads and travels extensively. His website, david-drake.com, will tell you a great deal more about his writing and interests as well as give you contact information.

Dixie LandDixie Land, an author born and raised in Iowa, captivated by North Carolina and cultivated in Kernersville, is known to her friends and colleagues as one who cares about everything.
A registered nurse by profession, Dixie works part-time in an assisted living facility in Greensboro, N.C. She also assists her husband as an office manager in their construction company. Land began writing professionally in the late 1990's. Her first book, Serenity, was published in 2003. Since then, she has published eight more romantic suspense novels and is working on the 10th, Deadly Beauty, a sequel to Deadly Company (2009). Other titles are Finding Faith (2004), Exit Wounds (2004), Circle of Secrets (2005), Promises to Keep (2005), Second Chances (2006), Return to Serenity (2007) and Grave Secrets (2008). Deadly Company and Exit Wounds have been recommended by Our State Magazine.
She credits the Triad Writers Roundtable with giving her the motivation she needs to keep her writing. Land has won awards for several short stories and enjoys attending writer’s conferences.www.linkin.com/pub/dixie-land

Judi McCoy has published fourteen romances. She also teaches the Romantic Times convention’s aspiring author course, and gives workshops on a variety of writing topics. Hounding the Pavement, her first mystery, was released in March 2009. All royalties earned from the book will be donated to the largest no-kill shelter in the US, Best Friends in Kanab, UT. The book, a continuing tale of a New York City dog walker, has been optioned by CBS and Paramount Productions to be turned into a weekly television series. Judi currently resides on Virginia's peaceful eastern shore. A retired women’s gymnastic judge, she keeps busy raising orchids and writing the next book in her unique dog walker series. www.judimccoy.com

Bill MitchellWilliam King (Bill) Mitchell is a 1963 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a major in history. He taught history for two years at Midway High School (a small rural school north of Camden) before returning to USC where he earned his Masters in Tudor and Stuart England in 1972. He began his journalistic career during the summer of 1965 by covering a youth baseball tournament for The State newspaper. Bill began his full-time journalism career in August of that year and worked as a reporter, copy editor and layout editor for the next 35 years. He covered ACC basketball for 13 seasons and oversaw the leading high school football coverage in his state for more than 20 years. He was a winner of the Ambrose G. Hampton Award for outstanding copy desk performance in 1987. His other writing assignments included spring sports of all kinds and he has covered at one time or another every sport except auto racing. He retired in Aug. 4, 2000, but continues to do occasional free-lance writing. He is one of nine contributing writers for a book edited by the late Jerold J. Savory, The Vanity Fair Gallery A Collector's guide to the Caricatures, published in 1979. He has been married for 33 years to Sandra Corley of Edgefield, S. C.

J.D. RhoadesJ.D. Rhoadeswas born and raised in North Carolina. He has worked as a radio news reporter, club DJ, television cameraman, ad salesman, waiter, practicing attorney, and newspaper columnist. His weekly column in the Southern Pines, North Carolina Pilot was named best column of the year in its division for 2005. His first novel, The Devil’s Right Hand, was released in 2005; Good Day in Hell, his second novel featuring North Carolina bail bondsman Jack Keller, was released in March 2006. Safe and Sound, July 2007, also features Jack Keller. Breaking Cover, July 2008, is a standalone thriller. He lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage, North Carolina. www.jdrhoades.com

David ShafferDavid Shaffer is the author of a mystery series that features private investigator, Harry Caine, in fast moving, entertaining stories that capture the reality of a working PI. Harry's wit, cunning, and expertise make this outstanding series a must read. The first novel in the series, Paid in Full, received critical acclaim in the Writer's Digest International Self Published Book Awards for 2005.
David Shaffer lives with his wife Mary and their dog Max in North Carolina. Besides being a mystery author who is working on his fifth novel, A Criminal Defense, he is an active licensed investigator in California and North Carolina and a business partner with Dixie Land in Alabaster Book Publishing.

Maureen SherbondyNew Jersey native Maureen Sherbondy lives in Raleigh with her husband and three sons. She has published short stories in Southeast Revue, Stone Canoe, the Chapel Hill News and North Carolina Literary Review. She was a runner-up in the William Faulkner-William Wisdon Creative Wrting Competiton and a winner in the Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open. She has won first place awards in local and statewide contests and published her first chapbook, After the Fairy Tale in 2007, followed by Praying at Coffee Shops in 2008. A short story collection, The Slow Vanishing, was released in 2009. Maureen teaches writing workshops and leads an open mike night. www.mureensherbondy.com

Susan SipalSusan Sipal has worked as a writer, an editor, and recently as a marketing consultant with an independent publisher. She is best known internationally as an analyst of the Harry Potter series, with essays published both in the US and the UK discussing the alchemical and Egyptian metaphors. Along with multiple writing workshops, Susan has presented workshops at several fan-based and academic conferences in the US and England. Susan lived with her husband in his native land of Turkey for several years and enjoys writing about this beautiful, exotic land in many of her stories. www.susansipal.com.

Susan SloateSusan Sloate is co-author of the 2003 Amazon bestseller, Forward to Camelot, which has taken honors in two literary competitions and been optioned by Fast Carrier Pictures as the basis of a feature film. She has also authored more than a dozen young-adult fiction and non-fiction books, including five biographies; a collective biography of famous baseball players; and books in six different ongoing series. She has optioned two screenplays to Hollywood production companies, done sports reporting from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, written and co-directed two stage plays, and contributed an article to Chicken Soup for the Soul of America (2002). Before writing her first book in 1988, Susan spent twelve years in the Hollywood film business, with such illustrious companies as Taft Entertainment, Orion Pictures, New World Entertainment, and Merv Griffin Productions. While researching Forward to Camelot, she met her husband at a JFK assassination symposium in Chicago. She now lives outside Charleston, S.C. www.susansloate.com.

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