Sunday, March 18, 2018

Writers’ Night Out Announces 2018 Schedule

Karen Paul Holmes began Writers' Night Out in Blairsville several years ago and it is one of my favorite literary events in our area. She has created another outstanding schedule of readers for this year. I am excited, of course, that Estelle Rice and I are on this schedule. We will read in November from our soon to be released book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, Stories and Poems about Our Pets and Other Creatures. 

Writers’ Night Out begins its eighth season on April 13 and continues the second Friday of the month through November. Featured readers present their work at 7 p.m., and an open microphone follows, where audience members can share three minutes of their own poetry or prose. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA.

The 2018 schedule of featured readers from North Carolina and Georgia

April 13: Mike James and Michael Walls
May 18: Jennifer Lux and Rupert Fike
June 8: Michelle Castleberry and Karen Paul Holmes
July 13: Joan Howard and Jane Simpson
Aug 10: Kimberly Simms and Mary Ricketson
Sept 14: Robert Kendrick and Janice Moore
Oct 12: Danielle Hanson and Loren Leith
Nov 9: Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice

April reader, Mike James, is the author of eleven poetry collections. His most recent books include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog, 2017), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle, 2017), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag, 2016.) 

His work has appeared in over 100 magazines throughout the country in such places as Tar River Poetry, Soundings East, and Laurel Review. He has also been active as an editor for The Kentucky Review, Autumn House Press, and his own Yellow Pepper Press. After years spent in South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, he now makes his home in Chapel Hill, NC with his large family and a large assortment of cats. 

 James will also teach a poetry class on April 14 at Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC. For more information, visit . (see the studio schedule)

Michael Walls has had poetry published in a variety of journals and magazines including The New York Quarterly, South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Chattahoochee Review, Poetry East, The Midwest Quarterly and others. 

His chapbook is The Blues Singer and his full-length collection is Stacking Winter Wood (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, 2017). His poems and articles have also appeared in law reviews and journals. He is a retired labor lawyer who now spends his time working as a volunteer on environmental and other issues, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, writing poems and letters to the editor, and listening to rock and roll, blues and jazz. He spends time in Atlanta and the North Georgia Mountains.

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092.

Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Register at least a month early to be sure you get a seat. We are limited to only ten students.

What is in store for everyone at Writers Circle around the Table in Hayesville, NC, this spring and summer?

First we have Mike James, well-known poet who will teach a four hour workshop on Saturday, April 14, noon until 4:00 p.m.  He will teach us about the many different forms we can use in poetry. I am looking forward to this class because I don't often use different kinds of forms in my poetry. I'd like to learn something new. I also expect this class to motivate me to get back to writing poetry again.
Read a recent interview with Mike here.
Read about his class and about Mike, an interesting man with many publications, here.

In June I, Glenda Beall, will teach six weeks of classes on Tuesdays, 2:00 until 5:00 PM . June 5 - June 26 and July 10 and 17.
 This will be a class for writing fiction, nonfiction and creative nonfiction. Some of my past students have already told me they plan to be there, and I look forward to seeing them. Read more here,

Many of you have said you would like to take a class with Carol Crawford, poet, essayist and writing instructor. We are happy Carol will be back with us Saturday, July 14, 1:00 - 4:00 PM to help us improve our prose - fiction and nonfiction.
Carol has her own business, Read all the testimonials given to her by her clients. Read more about this class here.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Good Contests to Enter Now

Writers, check out these contests you might win.
One of the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers

One of them is for Humor Poetry contest. No fee required.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

What is our Mission at Writers Circle Around the Table?

Book Launch party for Nadine Justice, author of I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang

Writers Circle’s mission is to bring beginning writers, accomplished writers, and anyone who enjoys writing stories, essays, poems and/or articles together around the table where we make the effort to enlighten, empower and to provide opportunities to discover the path to reach their writing goals.

A class at Writers Circle studio in 2010. Comfortable and casual, fun and filled with interesting information on writing. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Changes at Create Space? Read Tara Lynne Groth's news here.

I learned today from the newsletter of my friend TaraLynne Groth that Amazon’s CreateSpace  is getting out of the author services business. Self publishing writers will need to go elsewhere for important author services, including editing, cover editing and book formatting. 

As of April 18, 2018 writers who self publish with Create Space will have to do more of their own work or pay for those services that Create Space no longer provides.

Too bad for me, the procrastinator. I had planned to publish a couple of short books through Create Space.

Tara Lynne sent her good news in her newsletter today. 

Through her use of Linkedin she has landed a job with “one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world.” Congratulations, Tara Lynn!

We have been fortunate to have Tara Lynne Groth teach some classes at Writers Circle around the Table, and she was well-received as a speaker at our Day for Writers in Sylva, NC in 2017.  This young woman is extremely knowledgeable about the freelance world and the modern methods of marketing. I hope she will have time to come back to our region before too long.

Tara Lynne will be changing the focus of her writing business now. Read about what she will be doing in her newsletter whichyou can find online.

She has a new collection of short stories ready to shop to publishers soon. I have her book, Magazine Queries that Worked, only 6.99 in print now at This book should be on the shelf of all who want to write and sell articles for magazines or newspapers. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Busy, busy right now. And that is a good thing.

Tiger the bob-tailed cat

This week I have been busy with planning a Bookfest for NCWN-West on March 24. I am also trying to finish up the book of pet stories by Estelle Rice and me. One of my stories is about Tiger, the cat in the picture above. You will also meet Rocky, Nikki, Kodi, Cookie, Brandy, Found Hound, Spot Darrow and other creatures we loved. You will read about a special horse named Amos and learn about polydactyal cats.

With three writing classes coming up, I spend much time getting the word out to former students and the public. Beginning first week in March, I will teach for four weeks at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC. Then, I will teach later at the Institute for Continuing Learning over in Georgia. In June, I will teach at my own studio. 

I have also spent a good bit of time in communication about the passing of my mentor, Nancy S. whose family doesn't want too much about her death online. I am sorry that the hundreds of people who know her cannot have a place online to go to post their condolences and the wonderful things they all have to say about Nancy, who was respected and admired by everyone. We, her friends for over twenty years, know she would love to be remembered by all those who read her poetry and know her through her work with NCWN and NCWN-West.

A memorial to her is being planned here in the mountains perhaps in May. Joan Gage, our NCWN-West tech admin is working on that. She spent much time with Nancy in the last few years doing tasks for her that Nancy could no longer do for herself.

NCWN-West is holding a BOOKFEST at the Moss Memorial Library Iin Hayesville, NC on Saturday, March 24, noon until 4:00 PM. 

Six authors will speak on publishing and marketing, and we will have more than ten authors set up at tables to talk with folks and to sign books for them.
Door prizes will be given away all afternoon.
Some of them are: one writing class at Writers Circle around the Table. Thirty pages edited by Carol Crawford of , and a free school visit by Deanna Klingel author of children's and young adult books. 

Tom and Polly Davis of Old Mountain Press will be on hand to speak to us about self publishing and other matters of publishing and marketing. Everyone is donating books for the door prizes.

Thanks to Kathy Knapp who is going to help with the BOOKFEST and to all volunteers who said they will help set up and take down tables and chairs. It takes good volunteers to be able to hold any event, and I am fortunate that we have some of the best. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Two great writing conferences you will enjoy this spring.

April 6 - 7 - Blue Ridge Writers' Conference - The Art Center in Blue Ridge, Georgia - Visit the website for information on the presenters. I recommend this conference because I have attended every single one over the past 22 years. I have never been disappointed. In fact, I have met some of the best and best known writers and poets at this conference.

Saturday, April 21 - 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM - North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference - MHRA Building UNC-Greensboro,NC - Register at  or call 336-293-8844  or 919-308-3228
This is always a great conference. I attended for years but the driving is too far for me now. But if you want a jam-packed day full of literary knowledge and interesting people, please go to the Spring Conference. Ed Southern and Charles Fiore bring this event to Greensboro every year.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Online advice and aid for writers from some of my favorites

I subscribe to a few blogs and newsletters by excellent writers and editors. 

I like reading the latest posts by these knowledgeable people.  

I receive in my email a digest from Jane Friedman with several of the articles that appear on her blog. This one about how important book reviews are to writers is one I want to share with you.

A weekly digest of blog posts from 

Book reviews build symbolic capital

New authors—certainly self-published authors—have no symbolic capital. They are not (yet) known for producing quality books that seduce readers to the degree that they are willing to part with some of their disposable income, not to mention time. Is it possible for self-publishing authors to create symbolic capital? Absolutely yes, and many have.

Read more here...

I have subscribed to C. Hope Clark for many years and have never been disappointed in what she sends me.

Hope receives letters and emails every day thanking her for all she does for writers. I know she has helped me. I subscribe to her newsletter and it comes in my Inbox. I always learn something from it. She writes exciting mysteries and has a big following. Look at some of her books and give one a read. You will come back for more.

I subscribe to a newsletter by Bobbie Christmas, a successful editor and writer who lives in the Atlanta region.

I use her tips and advice in teaching my adult writing students, and I own her book, Purge Your Prose of Problems, an excellent guide for anyone who has questions about grammar, punctuation, proper format, and all those little issues that come up that no one remembers. She updates this book periodically to make sure her readers don't get left behind.

Another site any writer will like, I think, is Writer Unboxed.   They use a wide range of writers for their articles that help us continue on this journey we love.

I read others but will mention those later. Do you have favorite blogs or websites by writers that you read regularly? Tell us about them. We writers should help each other when we can.