So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Writers' Night Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writers' Night Out. Show all posts

Monday, June 7, 2021

Writers' Night Out on Zoom June 11

Friday evening, June 11,7:00 PM, I will host Writers' Night Out on Zoom from my home.
We are excited to have as our featured guest, P.C. Zick, author of over thirty books. P.C. is a woman writer who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, but during the summer she lives in Murphy, NC, not far from my home in Hayesville, NC.

I look forward to our conversation that night and to P.C. reading from some of her publications.
She writes contemporary fiction, romance novels, and nonfiction books. I found that her book, The Author's Journey, a road map for writers from draft to published book, a necessary part of my library, and I refer to it often as well as use it when teaching my writing students.

If you are a regular reader of this blog and would like to join us Friday evening on Zoom, contact me by email and I can send you the link to the meeting.

P.C. Zick is a woman whose name is Pat, and I look forward to learning why she writes using her initials. 

If you want to know more about this author, check out her website:  

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Last WNO for 2019 November 8

I missed Writers' Night Out for October, but I surely hope to attend on November 8 when Rosemary Royston and Diana Anhalt will be featured. Check out their online information.

After the planned program, the floor is open to writers who want to share a poem or short prose piece. Those reading at Open Mic sign up when they arrive and this is always an interesting part of WNO.

This is the last one of this year. From December through March, we take a break due to the weather here in the mountains. 

I hope all our local friends will come out on Friday night, November 8, 7:00 PM.  If our sponsored events are not well attended, we might lose them for good.

Friday, March 22, 2019


Thanks to Karen Paul Holmes, we can look forward to a night of listening to poems and prose by our best writers.

We have such a good time at Writers Night Out in Blairsville, GA. 
Karen always creates an excellent schedule of prose writers and poets and still has time for Open Mic.

For those of us who live in Union, Towns, Clay and Cherokee Counties, this is a perfect way to spend a Friday evening - have dinner, meet with our writing friends, hear a couple of excellent writers and read a poem or short piece of prose.

I am happy that Michelle Keller and I will be featured readers May 10, 7:00 p.m. 
Mary Mike, my friend, writes poetry that is memorable and shows her knowledge of what makes a good poem.
She is one of the busiest people I know, and one of the most knowledgeable people I know. No matter what I need she can tell me what to do or she can come over and take care of it. But she is a dear friend who is always there for me as I am for her.

Here is the complete 2019 schedule for Writers' Night Out

  • April 12:           Chelsea Rathburn & James May
  • May 10:            Glenda Beall & Mary Mike Keller
  • June 14             James Davis & Dan Veach
  • July 12:             Victoria Barken & Ryvers Stewart
  • August 9:          Mary Ricketson & Loren Leith
  • September 13:  Kathy Nelson & Karen Paul Holmes
  • October 11:       Linda Jones & Alan Cone
  • November 8:     Rosemary Royston & TBA

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Writers' Night Out in Blairsville, Georgia

Each month on the second Friday evening, Karen Paul Holmes hosts a night for writers in Blairsville, GA. This event is sponsored by the NC Writers Network West, a program of the state literary organization created for the writers in the far western part of North Carolina and includes bordering counties of North Georgia.

Writers' Night Out: 
  • Friday, Aug 10, 7-8:30 pm
  • Featured readers: Mary Ricketson and Maren Mitchell
  • Followed by open mic*
  • Union County Community Center, Blairsville, GA 
  • Optional dinner or drink: The View Grill (arrive by 6 to order food)
*Note: We must vacate the room by 8:30 this year, so we reserve the right to limit the number of open mic readers to the first 10 who sign up at the door. Limit 3 minutes per reader. Please time yourself at home. This is normally 1 page of poetry or prose (12 pt Times New Roman). 

Maren O. Mitchell, an internationally published poet, has had poems in POEM, The Comstock Review, Slant, The Pedestal Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, The Lake (UK), Skive (AU), and many other literary journals. Her work is also included in The Crafty Poet II: a Portable Workshop; The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins; The Southern Poetry Anthologies, V & VII; Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems; and more. She has had two poems nominated for Pushcart Prizes and received a first-place award from the Georgia Poetry Society.

A North Carolina native, in her childhood Maren lived in France and Germany. Due to spinal cord surgery when forty, she spent many years learning how to live well in spite of chronic pain. She shares her experiences and advice in her nonfiction book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, (Line of Sight Press, 2012) .  For over thirty years, across five southeastern states, Maren has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Mary Ricketson has been writing poetry 20 years. She is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor. Her most recent full-length collection is Shade and Shelter: Poems of Breaking and Healing (Kelsay Books, 2018).  Her poetry has also been published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Red Fox Run, It’s All Relative, Old Mountain Press, Whispers, Voices, and two other books: I Hear the River Call my Name and Hanging Dog Creek. 

Currently Mary is using her own poetry to present empowerment workshops, combining roles as writer and her helping role as a therapist. Her writing and activities relate with nature, facilitate talk about a personal path and focus on growth in ordinary and unusual times. She also writes a monthly column, “Women to Women,” for The Cherokee Scout.

Mary is Cherokee County representative for North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, president of Ridgeline Literary Alliance, and an organic blueberry farmer.
Hope you'll come hear these two local poets. Come and read something of your own at Open Mic. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Evening, June 8, Writers' Night Out, don't miss Karen Holmes and Michelle Castleberry, headliners

Readers and Listeners are Welcome at Writers’ Night Out

If you live near enough to attend this reading, put this date on your calendar now: Friday, June 8, 7:00 PM. It will be here before we know it.
We, in our area, are fortunate to have Karen Paul Holmes who volunteers her time to hold this free event for writers every month. Come out and support writers with your presence. We all need each other as fellow writers whether we write poetry or prose, so think about others even if you don't read at Open Mic. I really like this poem by Michelle Castleberry.

Join us for dinner at the View Grill where we gaze across greens and blue mountains. We all succeed when we help others succeed. Now the details:

Published writers, Karen Paul Holmes and Michelle Castleberry, are the headliners for this month’s Writers’ Night Out. Following their reading is an open microphone where audience members can share 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, at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 8.

Michelle Castleberry

 Castleberry is a poet and social worker in north Georgia. Her works have appeared in publications including The Chattahoochee Review, Poemeleon, and The Anthology of Southern Poetry, and forthcoming in The Atlanta Review. Her book, Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems, was a finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry, 2013. She is currently a fellow with The Makery at the Hindman Settlement School.
Karen Holmes
Karen Paul Holmes founded Writers’ Night Out eight years ago, because her Hiawassee home inspires her to write, and she likes to bring writers and readers together in a relaxed social setting.

Her second poetry collection, No Such Thing as Distance (Terrapin, 2018) was just released.  Her first book was Untying the Knot (Aldrich, 2014), and writing credits include Prairie Schooner, Valparaiso Review, Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, Huffington Post and many more, including business publications that regularly feature articles she writes as a freelance business writer. 
Holmes was named a Best Emerging Poet in 2016 by Stay Thirsty Media. She also teaches writing classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Writers Circle Around the Table, and other venues.

Anyone wishing to participate in the Writers’ Night Out open mic can sign up at the door to read three minutes of poetry or prose. The event 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 and drinks are available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night Out, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

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, June 12, 2013

Carole Richard Thompson reads at Writers Night Out Friday, June 14.

My friend and fellow Netwest member, Carole Richard Thompson published a lovely book of poems this year. The title is Enough. Haven't we all said that at times when we can't take anymore. That is not Carole's sentiments, however.

Carole is retired and lives with her retired husband in Blairsville, GA. The cover of her book is a painting by Carol done in 2012. This poet and writer is one of those extra-talented individuals.

Recently Carole and I read our work at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I have always been a fan of Carole's essays, short stories and poetry since I met her years ago. The last poems in her book are particularly poignant as she writes about the simple things shared between a long married couple, over fifty years, and declares them enough.

Here is one of her poems that touches me most:

Sitting on the Side of the Bed

He loves the morning as I do
in our sacred bedroom,
before the phone rings,
before we must dress,
when sleepiness still slows
our movements. We put off
thoughts of the day ahead,
sitting on the side of the bed.

He shuffles off to get coffee;
I raise the blind to the view,
pull sheet and quilt over pillows,
smoothing out the side of the bed.

The room welcomes our waking.
We're rested and happy here,
sharing secrets, facing problems,
sitting close on the side of the bed.

Mama says it ruins the mattress
if you sit on the side of the bed.
I used to feel guilt, but no more.
No, I would not trade this splendid hour
for a perfect mattress, unspoiled,
putting off thoughts of the day ahead,
sitting here on the side of the bed.

Enough by Carole  Richard Thompson, published by FutureCycle Press,

Mineral Bluff, Georgia, USA
ISBN 978-1-938853-28-9