2011 Carolinas Writers Conference

     The third annual Carolinas Writers Conference was held April 2, 2011, at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
     The conference presenters are the Anson County Writer's Club, the Hampton B. Allen Library and South Piedmont Community College.
     There was no fee for attending the conference thanks to grants from the N.C. Humanities Council, the William A. Smith Trust, the Effie Allen Little Foundation and the Elizabeth Burns Yost Trust.

Featured Presenters

     Omar Tyree, a New York Times best-selling author, a 2001 NAACP Image Award recipient for Outstanding Literature in Fiction, a 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award winner for Body of Work in Urban Fiction, and a 2010 HBCU Legends Award recipient, has been cited by the City Council of Philadelphia for his work in Urban Literacy, and has published 19 books with 2 million copies sold worldwide. With a degree in Print Journalism from Howard University in 1991, Tyree has been recognized as one of the most renown contemporary writers in the African-American community. In the Spring of 2008, he founded the Urban Literacy Project (ULP) to help fight the lingering issue of illiteracy within the urban American community. He is also an informed and passionate speaker on various community-related and intellectual topics. Now entering the world of international business and seminars, urban children’s books, stageplays, feature films and songwriting, Tyree is a tireless creator and visionary of few limitations. For more information, please view his web site at www.OmarTyree.com

     We are happy to report that Robert Macomber will be a returning presenter this year. Robert was a hit in 2009 and has since published more books in his "Honor" series starring U.S. Naval Officer Peter Wake. The picture on the right shows Robert explaining how he uses a storyboard to plot his exciting historical novels -- which he researches first hand by traveling to the countries he writes about.
     Robert N. Macomber is an internationally recognized award-winning author, lecturer, and television commentator. He is a lecturer in the Distinguished Military Author Series at the Center for Army Analysis at Fort Belvoir, near Washington DC; and has presented at the U.S. Southern Command's Notable Military Author Series, the West Point Society, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and various other Department of Defense and governmental organizations. Mr. Macomber is annual guest author and speaker aboard Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, a maritime commentator for Florida PBS documentaries, a magazine writer, and a naval history lecturer for the American History Forum and the Civil War Education Association. His lectures span 38 various maritime and writing topics.
     Author of the Honor Series of naval intelligence novels, he is the recipient of four awards for his writing, including Best Historical Novel of Florida, Best Work in Southern Fiction, and the top national literary award in 2008 for his genre from the American Library Association. His latest novel, The Darkest Shade of Honor, has been nominated for the 2011 Florida Book Award.
     Recently, Mr. Macomber had the honor of being named as a Distinguished Lecturer at NATO by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis. Shortly after he speaks at the 2010 Florida Heritage Book Festival, he will be addressing senior command staff at NATO HQ's in Belgium and at U.S. EUCOM HQ's in Germany. He also has been chosen as guest author and lecturer aboard the new Queen Elizabeth during the Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles segment of her maiden voyage around the world, in January of 2011.
     Each year Mr. Macomber travels approximately 20,000 miles around the globe lecturing and researching, including an annual lecture tour in the Pacific and another in Europe. He is well known for the detailed research and vivid descriptions in his books, even going to the point of making the voyages, visiting the lands, and meeting the cultures he writes about.
     When not on lecture, research, or book tour journeys, Mr. Macomber lives a simple life in Twin Palm Cottage by Serenity Bay at Matlacha Island, an old Florida fishing village on the state's southwest coast.      Education: AA in history from Edison College, Ft. Myers, Fla.; B.A. in Political Science/History from University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.
     For more information about Mr. Macomber's life and work, visit www.robertmacomber.com.

Session Leaders

     Zack Clark Allen a writer, poet, publisher, folklorist and musician, is the author of the recently published, Eggtown and Other Stories. In his new collection from his years as a journalist, his stories and poetic insights “capture the flavor and essence of other times and other places; of people and dreams; and of life, as an unfinished poem.
     Others have described his work as “haunting and poetic . . . a celebration of the unexpected and nostalgic, like the small treasures you find in a box of childhood mementoes . . . beautiful slices of life, and you will enjoy every bite.”
     Allen was born in Asheville and currently lives in an often-too- busy retirement in the mountains of North Carolina. He works (when he chooses) as a low-key, not-for-profit book publisher under his own imprint, Folk Heritage Books. He has produced books of family history, genealogy, early music and historical fiction.
     Allen’s serial careers have taken him on a diverse odyssey. After college, he worked briefly as a chemist in synthetic fiber research before his talent for writing steered him toward a 20-year journey as a writer, editor and columnist. He has published literally hundreds of articles in major newspapers, wire services, and, through syndication, appearing in dozens of other publications around the world. His stories and columns have earned him many awards including being honored as the top columnist in the state for two years in a row by the North Carolina Press Association in the major newspapers category.
     He is married to the Rev. Maggie Lauterer, recently retired pastor of Burnsville First Presbyterian Church, who shares his love of ballad singing and early American shape-note music. He has two daughters, Sydney, and Sarah Addison Allen.

     Linda Evans will discuss Self-Publishing and Marketing Books in the Electronic Age.
     "This is an exciting time in the world of publishing. For years the only way to publish a book was to get the attention of an editor at a publishing house or to pay to have a book self-published. Going the route of finding a publisher usually meant years of shopping a book around to agents and publishers. This, as any would be author knows, can be an exhausting and heartbreaking task. Authors typically had to wait months to hear back and then, even if editors decided to read their manuscripts, there was no guarantee of acceptance. However, taking the self-publishing route was even worse. Authors who spent thousands to self-publish were called vanity authors and no one except a few friends and relatives bought their books.
     "Now, thanks to the ease and the low cost of print on demand and ebooks, anyone can publish, and, as even well-established authors get on board, the stigma of self-publishing is fast disappearing. A process that used to take years can be done in a matter of days.
     "But once the book is on the shelves, authors can't simply sit back and wait for readers to discover their work. A good marketing plan and a knowledge of social media is essential to success."
     After successfully publishing in the traditional way, author L.C. Evans decided to self-publish her most recent novels. She plans to share her knowledge of self-publishing in print on demand and ebook formats and successful online marketing.
     Visit her web site lcevans.com; view her book trailer on www.youtube.com.

Patricia Fry     Patricia Fry has been writing for publication since 1973, having contributed over a thousand articles to about 300 different magazines. She has 32 books to her credit, including The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less, The Successful Author’s Handbook, Promote Your Book—Over 250 proven, Low Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author, A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles and The Author’s Repair Kit.
     Her articles have appeared in Writer’s Digest Magazine, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Life, Authorship, Freelance Writer’s Report, Canadian Author, PMA Independent, Spannet, Writer’s Journal, Cat Fancy, Your Health and many, many others.
     Patricia is the Executive Director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network), a 15 -year-old networking organization for anyone interested in the publishing business. (www.spawn.org). She also writes the popular monthly SPAWN Market Update.
     While some of her books have been published by traditional publishers, including Allworth Press and Liguori Publications, Patricia established her own publishing company, Matilija Press, in 1983, before self-publishing was fashionable.
     Most authors tend to write the book of their dreams and then rely on publishing experts to show them the way to a successful outcome. Patricia Fry helps authors to discover and influence their own book’s potential. Attend her workshop and learn how to achieve greater success with your book project. She’ll show you how to navigate the fiercely competitive publishing field. She’ll offer tips and techniques for creating a more salable product. And she’ll guide you in making better decisions with regard to your book from inception to marketing. No one cares about your book as much as you do. And, while we all need some help along our publishing path, Patricia believes it is vital for authors to take on the bulk of the responsibility for their own books.
     Learn more at www.matilijapress.com and www.patriciafry.com. Visit her informative publishing blog daily: www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

Karen MacMurray     Karen MacMurray is a former librarian and writer. She will be teaching a session about finding and researching documents like diaries, letters, ship lists from archival and primary sources. Learn how to find war records, naval records, underground railroad documents, stories about real people and their hardships, celebrations and sorrows. Karen's books include: The Burrowing Owl, an Endangered Species; Best Presentation Secrets (ebook); and Animal Families/Familias Animalias.
Link to Power Point presentation, "How to Do Historical Research"
Link to "Historical Research Categories"

Jerry McGee     Jerry McGee a native of Rockingham, N.C., and a graduate of Eastern Carolina University. He served as vice president of Gardner-Webb University, Meredith College and Furman University before accepting his current position as president of Wingate University.
     McGee is also an ACC football official and has enjoyed assignments at over 13 bowl games -- the Citrus, Orange, Gator, Liberty, Peach, Snow, Fiesta, Motor City, Holiday and Rose Bowls. He serves as chair of the the South Atlantic Conference Presidents Council and is a member of the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame.
     McGee will discuss the importance of writing memoirs, family and neighborhood histories. He also will talk about his published books: The Sitting and Talking Place, (2001) and Roberdell, A Village of Grace (2009).

Dwayne Morgan     Dwayne Morgan might be described as a typical high school sophomore except for one thing: he has published his first sci-fi novel, "Destiny Star," in what he plans as a series.
     Exposed to books at an early age, Dwayne enjoyed being read to -- all the time. He also developed a keen interest in science and watched educational TV, asking questions about the stars and the atmosphere. "We were certainly glad when he was able to read for himself," says his mother.
     Unable to satisfy his love of reading at bookstores and libraries, he started writing in middle school. Now in high school, he is busy with marching band, jazz band, student government, soccer and tennis. He also participates in church and community activities.
     The teen author will talk about how and why he decided to write his book and the search for a publisher, including the advantages and disadvantages of self publishing.

Joanna Catherine Scott     Joanna Catherine Scott was born in England and raised in Australia. she received her graudate degree in philosophy from Duke University and currently lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Scott is Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and the recipient of a number of awards for her poetry.
     Her volumes of poetry include Night Huntress, narrative prose poems of grief and consolation; Fainting at the Uffizi, a collection of Ekphrastic poems set in Florence, Italy; Breakfast at the Shangri-La, Birth Mother and Coming Down from Bataan, poems of the Philippines.
     Scott's novels are all based on true events. The Road from Chapel Hill and its sequel, Child of the South, tell the story of a runaway slave during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Cassandra, Lost is the story of a Maryland heiress who eloped with a lieutenant from General Rochambeau's French army. The Lucky Gourd Shop, set in South Korea, was inspired by the story of Scott's adopted children's birth mother and Charlie is the story of an American GI who abandoned his Amerasian son in Vietnam.
     Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories fro Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam is a nonfiction account of people who fled the Communists after the US left Vietnam.

RJ Morris     RJ Morris is half owner of The Wild Rose Press and executive administrator to production (art work, production, prints and sales distribution). She also is web mistress and in-house programer.
     Morris lives in North Carolina where she loves to read, write and quilt in addition to her duties in the "garden."
     Morris has a bachelor of science degree in speech pathology and audiology, an associate's degree in information systems and various certifications. She worked in education to government to manufacturing before discovering a love for romance novels. At that point, she turned her mix of skills and formal education to the romance novel industry.
     She began as a reader-turned-writer, but on receiving her first contract, she realized she wanted to be involved in the entire process and began working for a small publishing house. The job expanded into other areas and finally to the realization that she wanted to own her own company and do things "differently." She approached Rhonda Penders, long time friend and romance author with a talent for marketing and networking, and The Wild Rose Press was born.
     Morris will do an informal talk open to questions. Visit the Wild Rose Press at www.thewildrosepress.com.

J.D. Rhoades     J.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, N.C., 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

Wayne and Jane Sims     Wayne and Jane Sims,are a devoted husband-and-wife team of “Tandem Tale Tellers” who have spent over 12 years sharing their humor and wisdom with audiences large and small.
     Jane’s interest in storytelling was prompted by her career as a gerontology instructor who guided students as they gathered oral histories. Wayne’s interest evolved from his experience in radio broadcasting. The couple worked with the legendary storyteller and folk hero, the late Gamble Rogers, to put together a folk festival in St. Augustine. They attribute Rogers as being one of their major inspirations and also for bringing them together.
     The duo has co-produced historical storytelling programs, some of which have been underwritten by the Florida Humanities Council for the Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, a storytelling guild they helped to establish in 1993. They are affiliated with several storytelling and folk organizations, including the National Storytelling Network, Florida Storytelling Association, North Carolina Storytelling Guild, Asheville [N.C.] Storytelling Circle, Florida Folklore Society, and Friends of Florida Folk (FOFF).
     The SIMS appear at a variety of venues, including festivals, riverboat tours, conferences, retirement communities, corporate events, community celebrations, fraternal organizations, congregations, elder hostels, schools, libraries, and radio and television.
     Currently, the Sims reside in both St. Augustine (winters) and Black Mountain, NC (summers). Their repertoire ranges from literature by Mark Twain to notable moments and people in American history to the colorful folklore of Florida and the traditional Appalachian humor for which they are known.

Susan Sloate     Susan Sloate is co-author (with Kevin Finn) 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 books for Sterling Publishing Mysteries Unwrapped Series; Bearport Publishing Defining Moments Series; B*Tween Productions Beacon Street Girls Series; Simon & Schuster Childhoods of Famous Americans Series; Western Publishing Girl Talk Series; Troll Associates Smart Talk Series; Bantam Books Sweet Dreams Series; Fawcett Columbine Great Lives Series;Fawcett Blue Ribbon Series; and Little, Brown Sports Illustrated for Kids.
     Sloate is a frequent guest speaker at schools, libraries and writers conferences. She is the founder and chairman of East Cooper Authors Festival, involving 17 local schools and over 11,000 students from primary through high school.
     In 2010, Sloate was campaign manager and speechwriter for Ken Glasson for Congress. She has 12 years' experience in major entertainment companies in Los Angeles including Taft Entertainment, Orion Pictures, New World Pictures, Preferred Artists Literary Agency, the Sy Fischer Agency, Merv Griffin Productions, International Creative Management and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations.
     Sloate is a graduate of the University of Southern California and now lives outside Charleston, S.C. Visit her website at www.susansloate.com.

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