Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams was awarded the Whiting Writers Award for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls and her memoir-in-progress The Following Sea. She has also received a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work most recently has appeared in the Oxford American, StoryQuarterly, Mayday Magazine, and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. Abrams currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and two editions of the Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. He is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University.
Malaga Baldi has worked as an independent literary agent since 1986. The Baldi Agency is an eclectic agency specializing in literary fiction, memoir, and cultural history. She worked as a cashier at Gotham Book Mart, in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, and as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and the Elaine Markson Agency, before going out on her own. Baldi believes the strength of the author’s voice and the heart of the story to be key when considering new work. Baldi graduated from Hampshire College and lives in NYC.
Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the 2016 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, and A Pocket Book of Forms, a limited-edition, travel-sized guide to poetic forms. The recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, she teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, where she is the editor of Ecotone and edits manuscripts for the magazine’s sister imprint, Lookout Books. She lives with her family near the Cape Fear River, and calls Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.
Michele T. Berger is a professor, writer, creativity expert, and pug-lover. Her main love is writing speculative fiction, though she also is known to write poetry and creative nonfiction, too. Her fiction has appeared in UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature and Science by Fighting Monkey Press; You Don’t Say: Stories in the Second Person by Ink Monkey Press; Flying South: A Literary Journal; 100wordstory; Thing Magazine; and The Red Clay Review. Her nonfiction writing and poetry have appeared in The Chapel Hill News, Glint Literary Journal, Oracle: Fine Arts Review, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, The Feminist Wire, Ms. Magazine, Carolina Woman Magazine, Western North Carolina Woman, A Letter to My Mom (Crown Press), Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Twelfth Planet Press) and various zines. Her sci-fi novella “Reenu-You” was recently published by Book Smugglers Press.
Krista Bremer is the author of A Tender Struggle: Story of a Marriage. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O: the Oprah Magazine, on CNN, and elsewhere. Her awards include a Rona Jaffe Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a North Carolina Writer’s Fellowship. She lives in Carrboro with her husband Ismail and their two children and works as associate publisher of The Sun: www.kristabremer.com.
Wendy Brenner is the author of two short story collections and a recipient of the Flannery O’Connor Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her essays, stories, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Allure, Travel & Leisure, Seventeen, Oxford American, Our State, Best American Essays, Best American Magazine Writing, New Stories From the South, and many other magazines, journals, and anthologies. She earned her BA at Oberlin College and her MFA at University of Florida. She has taught creative writing in the MFA and BFA programs at UNCW since 1997.
Wiley Cash is The New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind than Home, This Dark Road to Mercy, and The Last Ballad, which are available from William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers. Wiley holds a BA in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an MA in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Garden & Gun, O. Henry Magazine, and The Carolina Quarterly. Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two young daughters.
Emily Colin is the author of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Penguin Random House, July 2017) and The Memory Thief (Penguin Random House, 2012), which was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. She helped to launch two small publishing companies, served as the Editor-in-Chief of Coastal Carolina Press, and was the editor of The Long Way Around and The Secret to Their Success, featuring essays by and interviews with women leaders from across North Carolina. The former associate editor of Ideal Living magazine, Emily also works as a freelance writer and is a 2017 Pitch Wars mentor. For a decade, she served as the associate director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge arts programming. Emily also works as an arts education consultant and has recently completed a paper for the North Carolina Arts Council exploring the “state of the state” in community arts education for vulnerable youth.
Jaime Coyne began her career in Marketing at Macmillan in 2012. After two and a half years, she transitioned to her dream job in the Editorial Department of St. Martin’s Press. Jaime is interested in literary fiction, upmarket and commercial women’s fiction, and young adult. In general, she tends to be drawn to contemporary, character, and relationship-driven narratives. Narrative nonfiction interests include memoir, biography, humor, and investigative journalism on cultural and sociological topics. Her list includes the humorous illustrated guide The Big Redhead Book, Autumn Chiklis’ young adult book Raising Mom, and a yet-to-be-announced celebrity music memoir. Jaime graduated from Colgate University with a degree in English literature and creative writing, and lives in Brooklyn.
Melissa Crowe is the author of two chapbooks, Cirque du Crève-Cœur (dancing girl, 2007) and Girl, Giant (Finishing Line, 2013), and her poems and essays have appeared in the Atlanta Review, the Crab Orchard Review, and the Seneca Review, among other journals. She’s co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and coordinator of the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNCW. She lives in Wilmington with her husband, Mark, and their daughter, Annabelle.
Nina de Gramont is the author of three books for young adults – Every Little Thing in the World, Meet Me at the River, The Boy I Love – and three books for adults – Of Cats and Men, Gossip of the Starlings, and The Last September. She has also written two novels under pseudonyms and coedited the anthology Choice. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Marian Fragolais the chair-elect of the North Carolina Humanities Council. She received her Master of Science in Library Science at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science and is the director of program planning and outreach for the NCSU Libraries.
Philip Gerard is the author of four novels and six books of nonfiction, most recently The Art of Creative Research—A Field Guide for Writers. His novel The Dark of the Island (2016) was awarded an Ippy for regional fiction. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Susi H. Hamilton is the ninth secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. As a state representative, Secretary Hamilton served her constituents in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties from 2011 until January 2017, focusing her efforts on economic development and ensuring children and families have a chance to succeed by encouraging companies to bring well-paying jobs to Southeastern N.C., increasing funding for teachers and classrooms, and providing more healthcare options for families and underserved individuals. She is also a strong advocate for preserving Wilmington’s historic district. Secretary Hamilton holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Wilmington and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her first job out of college was with the State Historic Preservation Office as a National Register assistant. That position led her back to Wilmington where she served as a senior planner in the Long Range Planning Division for the city. She later accepted a position as executive director of Wilmington Downtown, Inc, where she led the effort to redevelop the downtown by encouraging and facilitating investment in real estate and by recruiting new businesses and job opportunities. Secretary Hamilton is the founder and CEO of Hamilton Planning, a consulting firm that offers marketing, real estate and business development services. She lives in downtown Wilmington with her husband Steve and their daughter Parker.
Kimi Faxon Hemingway is a lecturer of English and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. A founding editor of the literary journal Ecotone, her writing has been anthologized in Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, & Abortion, and Witness, and has appeared in magazines such as Ms., Haven, and Busted Halo.
Terry L. Kennedy is Editor of the UNCG-based literary magazine The Greensboro Review and the online journal storySouth. New River Breakdown, his collection of prose poems, was published by Unicorn Press in 2013.
Currently living on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina, Thomas Kies has a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York. When he’s not writing mysteries, Thomas Kies is the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He’s currently working on the second book in the Geneva Chase series–Darkness Lane: www.thomaskiesauthor.com.
Nicki Leone is with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, where she handles marketing and outreach for booksellers, publishers and authors, and produces “Lady Banks’ Commonplace Book”, a weekly newsletter for readers who love Southern literature and the Southern literary community. She has over twenty years’ experience in the bookselling and publishing industries, and is a member and past president of the NCWN Board of Trustees.
Peter Makuck, twice a winner of the annual Brockman-Campbell Award for best book of poetry by a North Carolinian, lives on Bogue Banks. In 2010 his Long Lens: New & Selected Poems was published by BOA Editions and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His poems have appeared in The Nation, Southern Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Sewanee Review, and so on. His sixth collection of poems, Mandatory Evacuation, was published in October 2016, as was his fourth collection of short stories, Wins and Losses (Syracuse University Press). He founded and edited Tar River Poetry from 1978 to 2006, when he retired from East Carolina University as Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
Robin Miura is Senior Editor and Associate Publisher at Carolina Wren Press. She has worked in publishing for more than fifteen years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press and then as a freelance editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, and writing coach for publishing companies and individual authors. Robin’s freelance clients have included Algonquin Books, Oxford University Press, Duke University Press, and University of North Carolina Press, and she has edited a novel and memoir series for Press 53. She is also a founding editor of the online magazine South Writ Large (www.southwritlarge.com).
Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the bestselling author of two novels, The Returned and The Wonder of All Things, and two poetry collections.
Christopher Rhodes works for The Stuart Agency in NYC and specializes in well-crafted debut fiction and platform driven nonfiction. He represents award winning authors Taylor Brown, Peter Selgin, Gayle Brandeis, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, as well as rising stars like Jared Yates Sexton, Gwendolyn Knapp, and Andrew Hilleman. Christopher is always on the lookout for exciting debut voices and for nontraditional work from writers who may want to publish outside of their established form. Before joining The Stuart Agency, Christopher was an agent for The James Fitzgerald Agency, and before that, he worked at The Carol Mann Agency and in the sales and marketing departments at Simon and Schuster.
Deonna Kelli Sayed is an internationally published author. Her books include Paranormal Obsession: America’s Fascination with Ghosts & Hauntings, Spooks & Spirits, a cultural studies discussion on why America loves high strangeness. Her essays appear in The New York Times’ featured anthology, Love, Insh’allah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, and Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Women on Why We Stay. She was a freelance writer in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is the recipient of state and national awards for her multimedia work in Yes!Weekly, an independent newspaper in Greensboro. She has appeared on NPR, The State of Things, Coast to Coast AM, and WUNC-TV. Deonna serves NCWN as Membership Coordinator, and is currently writing a memoir about faith, love, and ghosts.
Dev T. Smith is a storyteller: a writer, producer, and director who stretches his pallet across thought provoking editorial articles, web-series, television shows, and documentary filmmaking. His gift for painting pictures visually and verbally has made for a burgeoning career that narrates the life & times of creative thinkers while assessing the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment as it relates to business and culture. He has crafted digital strategies for eBay Enterprise, Radial Inc, Magento, and REVOLT TV, where he is currently a writer and producer for web and television.
Emily Louise Smith is the co-founder and publisher of Lookout Books and its sister magazine, Ecotone. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington, where she also directs the Publishing Laboratory. Titles published under her leadership have won the National Book Critics Circle Award and have been named finalists for the National Book Award and the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, among many others. Her poems and essays appear in Boulevard, Best New Poets, the Southern Review, and Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century; and her honors include fellowships from Rivendell and the Hub City Writers Project, as well as a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. She has been named Wilmington’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts and UNCW’s Lecturer of the Year.
Beth Staples is editor for Lookout Books, the boutique literary press out of UNCW, and senior editor for Ecotone, its sister magazine. She edits prose, both fiction and nonfiction, and was recently the editor for the novel Honey from the Lion and the story collection We Show What We Have Learned. She is also the assistant director of the Publishing Laboratory and teaches classes at UNCW related to editing, publishing, and book design. She received her MFA in fiction writing from Arizona State University.
Robert Wallace has published more than fifty essays, many of them short personal essays in The News & Observer in Raleigh. He is also the author of over thirty-five fiction stories in journals such as the North Carolina Literary Review, the Bryant Literary Review, The Long Story, and others. He is a two-time winner of the Doris Betts’ fiction contest. He is the author of the novel A Hold on Time. Wallace has received an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council, and a Writer’s Fellowship from the NC Arts Council.
Michael White has taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since 1994. He received his Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. His four prize-winning poetry collections are The Island, Palma Cathedral, Re-entry, and Vermeer in Hell. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, the Best American Poetry, and many other magazines and anthologies. His memoir, Travels in Vermeer, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.
Ross White is the Executive Director of Bull City Press, a small press based in Durham, and the Poetry Editor of Four Way Review. He is the author of two chapbooks, How We Came Upon the Colony and The Polite Society, and the editor, with Matthew Olzmann, of Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2012, Poetry Daily, New England Review, The Southern Review, and others. He is a recipient scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the 2014 Pocataligo Poetry Award from Yemassee, and currently teaches poetry writing and grammar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Catherine Woodard is the author of Opening the Mouth of the Dead, a story in poems by lone goose press (September 7, 2017 in paperback and a limited-edition book art). She swerved to poetry in 2001 after an award-winning career in journalism. Woodard helped return Poetry in Motion® to the NYC subways and is vice president of the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies and CNN online. She co-published Still Against War/Poems for Marie Ponsot and has been featured in The Best American Poetry blog. She is a former president of Artists Space. A former newspaper and new media journalist, Woodard volunteers with the News Literacy Project.
Michele Young-Stone is the author of three novels: the upcoming Lost in the Beehive (Simon & Schuster, 2018), Above Us Only Sky (2015), and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors (2010). She recently completed a fourth novel, George Glass Loves Lily Snow, and is at work on a fifth. After teaching high school English for seven years, Michele earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and son where she leads a novel-writing workshop for the Dare County Arts Council.