Only 8 More Days

1 Mar

Only 8 more days. . .

The Art & Craft of Writing

March 8, 2014
Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden St., Washington, NC 27889
 

This is the last week before the 2nd Annual Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition on March 8, 2014. With the hectic schedules we all keep, we hope you’ve already marked the date on your calendar.

Over the last 19 weeks, we’ve introduced and interviewed three panelists, six workshop presenters, and two keynote speakers who will be sharing their expertise in a variety of genres.

The conference is open to anyone interested in or thinking about writing, whether it’s poetry, family stories, fantasy, science fiction, or nonfiction. You don’t need to be a published writer; the conference is about sharing and being around other writers. Join us and learn more about what you want to say as an author, what you want it to mean, and how to get it published.

And for those of you who feel computer-challenged or aren’t comfortable submitting your information online, late registration will be available at the Washington Civic Center door on the morning of the conference, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Finally, if you’ve been following our blog, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you. We hope you’ve enjoyed the postings and found them informative. We look forward to meeting you at the conference.

Kay Wilson

Remember, there’s still time to visit our website for
conference information & registration, presenters, workshops, panels or lodging links: www.pamlicowritersconference.org

Interview with Suzanne Tate

25 Feb

11 days. . .

The 2nd Annual

Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition

The Art & Craft of Writing

a.k.a.

 The Labor After the Inspiration

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street, Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014
9am until 6pm
 

Only 11 more days. Can you believe it? We began telling you about our 2014 Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition on November 1, of last year and here it is the end of February.

Have you already registered? Or, has it slipped your mind? With the host of other writers you’ll meet, each sharing successes, stumbles and journeys on the road called writing, you’ll be glad you attended. Don’t let this opportunity slip away, sign-up today.

If you’ve been following our blog you’ve read interviews with presenters and hopefully something they’ve shared has piqued your interest. The wealth of talent we’ve gathered this year, you won’t want to miss.  When the conference is over, your writers tool chest will hopefully, have several new tools for you to work with.

So hurry and register. Come out and join us for what promises to be a wonderful day of learning and sharing. We look forward to seeing you there. Visit our website for conference information & registration, presenters, workshops, panels or lodging links: www.pamlicowritersconference.org

Kay Wilson

suzanne-tate

Suzanne Tate, writer of oral histories of the North Carolina Outer Banks, is best known for her children’s stories. Based on nature, particularly nature found on the sand and in the sea, her stories have been used in schools to enlighten as well as delight young readers.

Interviewer:  Is there a singular event that lead you to become a writer?

Suzanne:        I was inspired to write children’s books when I became a grandmother. Writing children’s books continues to be my “passion.”

Interviewer:  If you also teach, does your writing interface with your teaching?

Suzanne       I taught fifth grade for a few years and was interested in children learning to read. That led me to write early readers that would help children.

Interviewer:  Your writing is unique because it not only helps children learn to read and learn to love reading, it also teaches them a lesson in science. Is your writing conceived through personal experience?

Suzanne       Some of my writing comes from personal experiences.

Interviewer:  Do you consider commercial value when choosing subjects and characters for your stories or poems?

Suzanne       I consider how the books can be marketed and what the public might be most interested in reading.

Interviewer:  What is your favorite of all your works? Why?

Suzanne       My favorite is “Salty Seagull” because it is about respect of elders.

Interviewer:  If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently?

Suzanne       I can’t think of anything that I would have done differently.

Interviewer:  What or who has been the greatest influence in your writing?

Suzanne       Both my mother and father have influenced me in my writing. My mother was an English teacher and enjoyed creative writing. My father gave me a typewriter when I graduated from college and told me that I should “write for pay.” He wrote beautiful, well-written letters to my mother when he was stationed in Paris during WW I.

Interviewer:  That’s interesting. My mother’s letters to me always spoke of fine writing skill. My love of reading and writing came from her. Is there a particular humorous or touching story in your experience as a writer you can share with our readers?

Suzanne       I have a children’s book entitled “Ellie & Ollie Eel” that tells of the fantastic voyage that eels take. I was told that a man stood on the back of a charter boat telling everyone the story of eels. Someone said to him: “You read ‘Ellie & Ollie Eel,’ didn’t you?” The man admitted that he had learned from my book.

Interviewer:  It has been my experience that tolerance and respect for people or things foreign to us is gained through knowledge. I’ve always thought of eels as creepy. I need to get your book.

Doris Schneider

Through the Lens of Memoir – Amber Flora Thomas

14 Feb

Only 3 more weeks. . .

The Art & Craft of Writing! 

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street, Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014, from 9am until 6pm
 

If you haven’t registered or need information on the conference, presenters, workshops, panels or area lodging, attached is a link to our website: www.pamlicowritersconference.org

* * * *

 And now, we are pleased to present this week’s guest blogger.

Amber Flora Thomas

Amber Flora Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing-Poetry at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. She is the recipient of of several major poetry awards, including the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize and Ann Stanford Prize. Some of her published works include, Eye of Water: Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005) which won the Cave Canem Prize and The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (University of Alaska, 2012). Her poetry has appeared in Zyzzyva, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary Review and Crab Orchard Review, among other publications. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998. She joined the ECU faculty in 2012.

“Through the Lens of Memoir”

By Amber Flora Thomas

My father taught me to swim when I was four years old by throwing me in the river over and over, until I learned that making it back to shore did not necessarily mean I was safe. He had an infectious laugh that filled the air with joy (and a little wickedness) each time he scooped me up and threw me back into the cool, slow tide of a river that meandered between pale boulders in the sun. Eventually, I swam and kept swimming. After that day, Dad’s announcements that we were headed to the river for a swim were met by a clapping, jumping, and screeching audience that included my sister, my brother, and I.

To this day, I love the water and take every opportunity to go for a swim. I am brave in the water, too: I know not to fight the current, but to float to the top and breathe until I get my bearings.

This memory is the stuff of memoir, the thread that connects the writer in the present to the person of the past. Memoir is the product of a mind that understands the past from the vantage point of the present. Unlike autobiography which attempts to relay a chronological telling of one’s life from birth to older age, memoir looks with a magnifying glass at the finite events of one period or a particular event from some earlier point in the writer’s life. From this vantage point, the writer moves into understanding a single event or series of occurrences as a source of meaning in the present.

The writer often does not know what she thinks or feels about the past with true clarity until she begins to write and explore memory with the hindsight afforded her in the present. This is the primary power of memoir: the ability through exposition to remember and piece together truth, influence, and best guesses to make well-rounded narratives that hold the memory to the light so others may gaze through its revealing lens for insight into what makes us human and able to survive all that happens in our lives, especially our childhoods.

For many readers, memoir is highly suspect because so much time lapses between the writing and the events under scrutiny. In general, there is very little documentation in the form of letters, photographs, video, journals, etc. that proves beyond doubt what is really true. Best guesses and imaginative leaps seem to be the stuff of fictional works, rather than works that claim to harbor truth; however, memory is faulty no matter how much evidence we have from the past because memoir ultimately depends on the writer’s interpretation of events and evidence on hand. The “Fault of Memory” was a title of a poem in my first book, Eye of Water. In this poem, I am in debate with my mother about a memory that I have tried to piece together concerning my father and an allegation of sexual abuse. Through our collective memories, I try to make sense of what I remember from when I was five years old to what she remembers from the mid-1970s when she was in her early thirties.

Imagination and best guesses often cavort with truth in the best memoirs because the way we look, what we look to, and how we remember events in our childhoods is complicated by time. The mind weakens with age, dream intermingles with reality, stories told over and over by family members become fact and mold to what we wish happened and our need to forgive, or not forgive, as the case may be. And, we cannot ignore our desperate need to forget the very stories we eventually become brave enough to remember for the sake of memoir.

The memory of my father throwing me in the river over and over is one I have pieced together over time with the help of my siblings, my parents, my own body memories, and a memory of almost drowning while my father laughed on shore and called, “Swim, Booboo, swim.” My father’s nicknames for me were alternately “Booboo” and “Hardhead.” This memory has been very important to me in recent years because it gets at something that is very complex about the parent-child relationship and about healing. It is the clearest portrait of both my love and fear for a man whose influence I still struggle to confront as a woman in her early 40s.

I like to remember him trying to teach me joy through the vehicle of terror because this is how he functioned through much of my childhood. He could be very charming and gentle, then absolutely violent and abusive. Still, I love the water. I love to swim. Maybe we must go through hell to find the true root of our joy? My father was not all bad or all good; in fact, he contained both ends of the spectrum—in spades. Even as I write this, I can see the reader gasping in horror at my willingness to suggest that even violence can lead to goodness. I am making peace with the past and recognizing through the vehicle of memoir that this writing can help to expose the complexities in human relationships.

So, why memoir? Because it allows us to explore truth through the body’s memory and the heart’s memory and reveal the complexity within each person. Memoir teaches us that where we are now is a negotiation with the beliefs we have about who we were then. Memoir is an acceptance of imagination and best guesses to fill in spaces in our memories, and a decision that what has impacted us and the stories that hang on to us from the past are the same subjects. Memoir asks us to develop strong narratives which include more than summary and reflection, but use dialogue and strong description to tell the story, as well. Memoir is evidence of a mind and heart seeking epiphany through an understanding of the past.

Interview with James Melvin

7 Feb

4 weeks and counting. . .

2nd Annual Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition

The Art & Craft of Writing!

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street, Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014, from 9am until 6pm
 

Last years conference was a great success and we’ve planned this years to be even better. You won’t want to miss it. If you haven’t already registered,  it only takes a minute or two, so you’ll need to move it up on your to do list to get a seat.  To make it easier, here’s our website: www.pamlicowritersconference.org.

Now, let’s begin this weeks interview.

James Melvin

James Melvin

Our Keynote Speakers for the 2014 Pamlico Writers Conference are Suzanne Tate and James Melvin. They comprise a writing and illustrating team that has shared years of collaboration on award-winning children’s stories.

Their most celebrated books belong to a nature series begun in 1988 and now include thirty-one titles and seven teaching guides. The first of the series, Crabby & Nabby, was chosen to be read in every kindergarten class in Virginia. There is also a history series.

James Melvin brings visual life to the characters of Suzanne Tate and other writers. He is the creator of the Pea Island Lifesavers Series at the NC Aquarium in Manteo. He has a studio on Nags Head where he paints in various mediums and teaches art. He shared some of his past and philosophy in the following interview: Continue reading

Interview with Daniel Krawiec

31 Jan

Only 5 more weeks until. . .

2nd Annual Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition

The Art & Craft of Writing!

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street
Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014, from 9am until 6pm
 

We’ve planned a day filled with creative talent and you won’t want to miss it, so register soon.

And now to this week’s interview.

 Daniel Krawiec

Daniel Krawiec

Artist, graphic designer, book designer, and more, Daniel has agreed to participate in the Pamlico Writers Conference panel discussion on the Craft of Writing. He will specifically address the contribution a book designer gives to an author’s finished product. He has a master’s degree in Interactive Design from Elon University and currently works with Sable Books in Durham, North Carolina.

The following are Daniel’s responses to an interview for the Pamlico Writers Blog. Continue reading

Interview with Luke Whisnant

24 Jan

Only 6 more weeks until. . .

The 2nd Annual
Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition

The Art & Craft of Writing!

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street, Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014
9am until 6pm

This is our 2nd Annual event, and this year’s conference has been organized with a host of talent that you won’t want to miss. We’re offering six workshops to choose from, and you’ll want assurance of a seat in two of them, since space is limited. Six weeks really isn’t much time,  so if  you haven’t already registered for the conference, you’ll need to do so. Visit our website to register and for more information.  www.pamlicowritersconference.org

Now to this weeks interview:

Luke Whisnant

Luke Whisnant 

 Due to the enthusiastic response to his presentation last year, Luke was recruited again to be an afternoon presenter at the second Pamlico Writers Conference. This year his session is titled, “Flash Fiction? Prose Poetry?” It is a session for poets and fiction writers that will include in-class writing exercises.

A novelist, short story writer, and poet, Luke teaches at East Carolina University where he edits Tar River Poetry. His first novel, Watching TV with the Red Chinese, was made into a feature film in 2010, and his work has been published in multiple national and international journals as well as six anthologies. His fiction has been included three times in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.

In an interview, he shared thoughts about his writing. Continue reading

Interview with Peter Makuck

17 Jan

Only 7 weeks until. . .

Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition

The Art & Craft of Writing!

Washington Civic Center
100 Gladden Street, Washington, North Carolina
March 8, 2014, from 9am until 6pm
 

If you haven’t already registered for the conference, you’ll need to do so soon. With only seven weeks remaining, you’ll want to ensure your seats in two of our six workshops, as space is limited. You won’t want to miss this once a year event.

For information on the conference or competition details, presenters, workshops, panels or lodging links, visit our website at: www.pamlicowritersconference.org

And now, this week’s interview.

Peter Makuck

Peter Makuck, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University, is also a celebrated poet, short story writer, and critic. His Long Lens: New and Selected Poetry was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He recently published Allegiance and Betrayal and was the founder and former editor of Tar River Poetry.

Peter will be a presenter at the 2014 Pamlico Writers Conference. He has limited his workshop to 12 participants. So if poetry is your passion, register for the conference and sign up for his session before the 12 seats are gone. His session titled “When Is A Poem Finished?” will be a rare opportunity for poets to get personal feedback on their writing. He says, “Each participant should submit two or three poems at least a week in advance for evaluation. We will closely read at least one of the poems submitted. We will also discuss the process of revision and the questions writers should ask themselves about a poem they think is ready to be submitted for publication.”

The following are responses to questions posed in a recent interview: Continue reading

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