Athenian Press & Workshops is working to raise $30,000 to open the Southeast’s first bookstore, resource center, and event space catering to women and femme writers. They aim to cultivate “a creative, inclusive space for marginalized voices, to provide tools and resources for women and femme-identified writers, and to transform the world of publishing by disrupting oppressive constructs of femininity, sexuality, and race.” They envision an anti-racist, feminist, creative organization that adopts language as a vehicle for social change; employs writing as a way to resist, express oneself, promote creativity, encourage collaboration, find healing, and award power; promotes marginalized voices and unrepresented writers in publishing, especially writers of color and queer/trans-feminine voices; creates a community in which we decide what being a woman means to us; uses inclusive language that values all femininities, gender identities, sexualities, races, (dis)abilities, and nationalities.They’ll be offering some prizes through the Network’s raffle: a gift basket, Real Girls Have Real Problems by Khalisa Rae, and a one-year membership to the Athenian Lounge!

Bull City Press publishes a small quarterly magazine, Inch; poetry chapbooks through the Frost Place Chapbook Fellowship; and the Bull City Poetry Prize series. Established in Durham in 2006, their authors include Michael Parker (Everything, Then and Since, 2017) and Emilia Phillips (Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike, 2015). In 2015, they launched a line of fiction and nonfiction chapbooks when they merged with Origami Zoo Press. Inch accepts flash fiction and nonfiction under 750 words, and poetry that is one to nine lines in length. Submissions are open year-round. Founding Editor Ross White is on faculty, and will serve as a panelist for “Finding Readers through Lit Mags.” And two lucky raffle prize winners will win a Bull City Press book, so be sure to buy some raffle tickets!

Carolina Wren Press recently aquired Winston-Salem-based John F. Blair, Publisher, and plans to launch their merged list on January 1, 2018, as Blair. Previously, Carolina Wren Press strove to represent writers who were historically neglected by mainstream publishing, and to develop diverse and vital audiences through publishing, outreach, and educational programs. This Durham-based press sponsors the annual Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman that honors full-length prose work (novel, short story collection, or memoir) by an author who is a woman, as well as the Lee Smith Novel Prize (now open for submissions), which awards $1,000 and publication to a novel by an author from, living in, or writing about the American South.  CWP authors include Dana Koster, Michael Ferris Smith, and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green. John F. Blair, Publisher, was founded in 1954. Several hundred titles later, “through the years, literary gems that sold minimal copies were published alongside popular cookbooks and travel guides.” Keep an eye on the website for more news about the aquisition. CWP editor Robin Miura will serve as a panelist for “Finding Readers through Lit Mags” at the NCWN 2017 Fall Conference.

Ecotone / Lookout Books

Ecotone magazine was founded by the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2005. Its impact was immediate: the inaugural issue featured an essay by eventual 2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Clyde Edgerton; poetry by and an interview with eventual 2008 National Book Award winner Mark Doty; and an essay by David Gessner, current host of the National Geographic show Call of the Wild. Ecotone seeks to “champion innovative and underrepresented work” and explore the ecotones “between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.”

Lookout Books is the literary book imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and seeks out emerging and historically underrepresented voices, as well as overlooked gems by established writers. In a publishing landscape increasingly indifferent to literary innovation, Lookout offers a haven for books that matter. Recent Lookout books include We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams and Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neil Null. Ecotone publisher and co-founder of Lookout Books, Emily Louise Smith, will serve as a Manuscript Mart reviewer at Fall Conference and sit on the Sunday morning breakfast panel, “Agents & Editors.”

The Greensboro Review, published by the MFA in Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been “old school” since 1965. Longtime assistant editor Terry L. Kennedy recently took the helm as editor, and Terry will sit on the panel “Finding Readers through Lit Mags” on the Sunday of the NCWN Fall Conference. Works from TGR are consistently cited and anthologized in the Pushcart Prize, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, and other annual collections honoring the finest writing by both established and emerging talent. TGR offers two awards of $500—one award for fiction, one for poetry—and the winning manuscripts appear in the spring issue. TGR authors include Claudia Emerson, Alan Shapiro, Nataasha Trethewey, and Kevin Wilson.

LaVenson Press Studios seeks to offer women and young women writing workshops that instill emotional and psychological truth in their writing. As a way of nurturing not just the artistic mind, but also the body, light meals and snacks are prepared for participants from LaVenson Press Studios’ organic garden. Because the studio’s founder, Zelda Lockhart, feels that one’s writing is not finished until it reaches its audience, LaVenson Press Studios also hosts a literary magazine, Firefly Ridge, which hosts a Poetry & Prose Literary Competition yearly. Lockhart’s new book, The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript, shepherds women (those without or with writing experience) through the sharing of an initial wound event in life, and through exercises that help them to transform internal obstacles into external gifts, and then write resolution and outcome.

Library Partners Press, the digital publishing imprint of Wake Forest University, aims to “publish quality books (of any length and size, in both electronic and print-on-demand formats) created by Wake Forest University and North Carolina library patrons and friends.” Authors submit potential projects to the press, which are screened by one or more members of the editorial board. Recent titles include Five For Your First Five: Own Your Career and Life After College by Allison McWilliams and Adopting Grace: A Parenting Journey from Fear to Freedom by Tricia Wilson. A self-described “hybrid-indie” small press, LPP uses various print-on-demand and digital platforms to offer “publishing and distribution services to content creators looking to have their works collected and preserved and protected by libraries post-publication.”

The North Carolina Arts Council is a sponsor of the NCWN 2017 Fall Conference. At the Saturday night banquet, the Arts Council will celebrate their 50th anniversary with featured speaker Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Events throughout the year will celebrate a half-century of supporting the arts in the Tar Heel State, and the Arts Council is profiling fifty prominent North Carolina artists on their website as part of that celebration. The NCAC has been at the forefront of bringing arts tourism to North Carolina, publishing several guidebooks to heritage trails and designating the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The Arts Council also offers fellowships to artists and organizations each year. The deadline for the next Artist Fellowship grant is November 1.

NC Literary Map

The mission of the North Carolina Literary Map is to highlight the literary heritage of the state by connecting the lives and creative work of authors to real (and imaginary) geographic locations. Through the development of a searchable and browseable data-driven online map, users are able to access a database, learning tools, and cultural resources, to deepen their understanding of specific authors as well as the cultural space that shaped these literary works. The NC Literary Map also offers apps for literary tours of Asheville, Charlotte, and Greensboro, with more in the works.

Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, the North Carolina Literary Review facilitates the annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and sponsors the annual James Applewhite Poetry Prize. The most-recent issue (#26!) includes poetry by North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductees Kathryn Stripling Byer, Fred Chappell, and Robert Morgan; fiction by Michael Parker; and an essay by NC Arts Council Fellow Trace Ramsey, who won the 2016 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize, also sponsored by NCLR. A copy of NCLR’s 25th anniversary issue will be among the raffle prizes given away on the Saturday night of Fall Conference.

The North Carolina Poetry Society was founded in 1932. With more than 350 members from North Carolina and beyond, NCPS is an all-volunteer organization devoted to poets and lovers of poetry. The Poetry Society holds regular meetings four times a year in Southern Pines at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities. In addition, NCPS sponsors annual contests for adults and students, which offer cash prizes and award certificates; the annual Poet Laureate Award, judged by the state’s poet laureate; the annual Brockman-Campbell Book Award, recognizing the best book published by a North Carolina poet; and the annual Lena M. Shull Book Award, selecting for publication the best full-length unpublished poetry manuscript by a poet living in North Carolina, where the wining manuscript is published by St. Andrews University Press, and the winning poet leads a workshop and gives a reading at Poetry Day Hickory in April. In 2003, the NCPS Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series, where three distinguished North Carolina poets are selected annually to mentor student poets in the eastern, central, and western regions of the state. Now in its 7th year, this program is thriving as a significant expansion of NCPS outreach.

Odin Law & Media strives to be “the conduit between digital and interactive media, technology and the law.” Serving the interactive media, games, and internet industries, Odin works to understand each client’s specific needs, from advertising to VR. “Through consulting and crisis communication services, [Odin] advises on rules for professional communication, media advocacy, and reputation defense. In short, Odin is a new kind of law firm. Odin assists media and technology clients with the law, and advocates for media and technology in the law.” Areas of focus include entertainment (including the literary world); video games; digital media (an umbrella term that applies to journalists publishing their stories online as much as it does to virtual reality and augmented reality developers); the internet; and crisis PR. “In each of these areas, the firm works to provide efficient service with a predictable and flat fee, whenever possible.” Based in Raleigh, this will be Odin Law & Media’s first time at NCWN’s Fall Conference, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Press 53 was founded in 2005 by Kevin Morgan Watson and quickly began earning a reputation as a quality publishing house of short fiction and poetry collections. Located in Winston-Salem, they publish up to five short fiction collections each year, including the winner of the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction. They publish up to eight poetry collections each year, including one collection by the winner of the Press 53 Award for Poetry. In July, 2010, Press 53 launched Prime Number Magazine, a free online quarterly publication of distinctive poetry and prose. Their authors include former NC poet laureates Joseph Bathanti and Kathryn Stripling Byer and current NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson; poets Gabrielle Brant Freeman and Maura Way; and fiction writers Quinn Dalton and Marjorie Hudson. Their Press 53 Classic Editions include reissues of beloved Tar Heel authors such as Doris Betts, John Ehle, and Guy Owen.

Prospective Press is an avid independent publisher, connecting readers to great stories by great authors. They produce books in the traditional way, a commitment to quality and a keen interest for compelling content. However, they also keep an eye to the future, watching for ways to make the reading experiences even more enjoyable and satisfying. From the Piedmont region of North Carolina, they bring a world of quality genre fiction and select nonfiction. Their nonfiction imprint connects readers with a nascent collection of enjoyable and informative books on select topics involving the body, mind, and spirit. Fiction includes High Fantasy and Urban Fantasy; Young Adult and Mythological; Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction; Paranormal and PNR; Women’s Fiction; and more. Recently, they published Draigon Weather by Paige L. Christie, who initially approached them after a Slush Pile Live! event at an NCWN Spring Conference. So, see? Networking does sometimes work! For a list of their authors, click here.

NCWN Regional Reps

Al Manning is the regional rep for Chatham and Lee Counties and faciliates the Pittsboro Writers’ Morning Out, which meets the second Saturday of the month at 1:00 pm at Greek Kouzina, 964 East St., in Pittsboro. Al is also a Trustee of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and the sponsor of the Open Mic readings at the NCWN 2017 Fall Conference. This table will also display informational material for our many regional events throughout the state of North Carolina (and parts of Georgia), so be sure to stop by to see what’s happening in an county near you!

Wisdom House Books © Nicole Stockburger

Wisdom House Books is a publishing hybrid boutique, offering all the advantages of alternative publishing while still maintaining a standard of the highest quality production and design. They make publishing one’s manuscript easy and affordable. Their mission is to produce quality books that make a positive difference in the world. Whether a writer has an inspiring personal story, a spiritual message, a key to better health and well-being, or a new method for financial success, they will personally and professionally guide a book through the publishing process with care and integrity. They provide all the services of a major publisher, but the author retains 100 percent of the royalties and 100 percent of the selling profits. There are no “Publishing Packages” or “Levels” here. They simply offer a list of services to select based on what works best for an author’s goals and budget. For a list of Wisdom House Books authors, click here.