Launching Today's Writer

Conference Updates

Great Conference 3-22-15

pwccThe Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

Hello Again,

Wow, what a conference!

In today’s post I’m including pictures of each of our speakers, panelists and presenters from this past weekend’s conference so that, if you’d like, you may check them and their books out on-line. The Pamlico Writers Group and Beaufort County Arts Council co-sponsored this event.

Friday night started our pre-conference events with the Pitch to the Publisher, where writers were given seven (7) minutes to pitch an ideas for a story and receive feedback.

Jill McCorkle  2010

Jill McCorkle
Short Story writer & Novelist

Later we presented our keynote speaker, the very talented, well spoken, short story writer and novelist, Jill McCorkle. Her talk held our attention and felt at times, as if we were sitting around her kitchen table listening to stories.

Alex Albright photo  2015Alex Albright, Nonfiction, ECU

Katharine Ashe - 2nd picKatharine Ashe
Romance Writer, Duke Univ.


Susan Sloate

Susan Sloate, Author

On Saturday morning we began the conference with a panel discussion. Then throughout the rest of the day we offered a variety of workshop sessions. For this year’s conference we added three additional workshops so our attendees had even more topic choices to pick from. With nine workshops (three at each breakaway session) it was hard to single out which to attend.

Emily Louise Smith - 2

Emily Louise Smith

After lunch we listened to Indie Publisher, Emily Louise Smith, Director of the Publishing Laboratory, UNC, Wilmington.

When the day ended we saw wide smiles on the faces of all who came. This was our third annual writers conference and thus far our best.

Marni Graff - Headshot    2015Marni Graff
Mystery Writer

Richard Krawiec - 2

Richard Krawiec
Prose writer & Poet

Amber Flora Thomas - 2015



Amber Flora Thomas
Poet, ECU

We hope that what each of our attendees learned will find its way into their writings. And, if you missed this year’s conference, sign up early for next year’s.

Doris Schneider - 3    2015Doris Schneider
Theater Director, Set Designer & Author

Sending out huge thank you’s to everyone who helped bring this conference into fruition. Your help is very much appreciated.

Thank you again to our speakers, presenters and panelists, we appreciate the time, experience and expertise you’ve shared with us.

And we’d also like to thank all of our writing competition entrants; both adult and high school, along with our jurors. If you’re interested in seeing the writing competition results or conference pictures, visit our website at:

See you soon,

Kaylene Wilson

Jill McCorkle interview 3-17-15

cropped-pwcc21.jpgMarch 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm
The Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

On Friday, March 20, 2015 come out and join us for a pre-conference author event from 5:30pm to 8:00 pm. Our keynote speaker for the evening is the very talented short story writer and novelist, Jill McCorkle. She is the author of six novels (Life After Life, July 7th, The Cheer Leader, Tending Virginia, Ferris Beach and Carolina Moon) and three collections of short stories (Crash Diet, Final Vinyl Days and Creatures of Habit). Ms. McCorkle started writing as a child, and in her Sophomore year of college began to take her writing career seriously. It has been said that,“McCorkle’s sense of language and natural representation of conversations among characters reveal her ties to the oral tradition of southern literary figures such as Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, and Joel Chandler Harris,” (Salem Press, Inc.).

Here is our interview:

Jill McCorkle   2




Jill McCorkle
Short Story Writer and Novelist

Q.    I was truly touched by your latest novel, Life After Life. Was it inspired by the loss of a loved one who spent time in a hospice or nursing home?
A.    I grew up with a lot of elderly relatives and so I feel there has always been someone I was visiting in such a facility. But the central idea for this novel came when my dad was dying over twenty years ago. I wanted to write about the moment of death. (there is a piece online that I wrote about this called “Writing Life After Life” that is a PDF download. I likely will talk a little about it in my talk as well)

Q.    Is there another novel in progress? Can you talk about it?
A.    I do have a new novel going and once again it is set in eastern NC and several points of view. Once again I have a child and I have someone elderly- might talk a little more in person- I’m pretty superstitious!

Q.    In your writing process, do you begin with a complete outline or do you begin with a sketchy idea and allow it to develop as you write? If you have done both, which do you think was more successful?
A.    My writing is completely organic- bits and pieces of ideas that I hold and sit on until I begin to see how they might fit together. I have a general idea of direction or what I hope to write but so much changes along the way.

Q.    Have you ever had unexpected characters show up that become important?
A.    Unexpected characters show up often and sometimes they steal the show! I learned a long time ago to let them. Likewise there are characters you think will be much more important than they prove to be.

Q.    Have you ever experienced writers block? If so, how did you conquer it?
A.    I personally think that writer’s block is something that must grow out of the luxury of an abundance of time. I have never gotten to the bottom of the very big pile of all I want to write because as soon as I work on one thing, I think of several others. I tell my students if you keep your eyes and ears open in this world, you can’t possibly live long enough to write all the stories you encounter. I never sit down empty-handed- if I don’t have a direction in mind, I just sit down and start typing up my notes and before I know it, something happens and I’m in the middle of a scene.

Q.    If there is anything you want to say that might tantalize writers and readers about your keynote address, please feel free to get our interest peaked.
A.    I plan to talk a little about the above- where I look for stories, how I find them, how they surprise me– I think we all have our sources we return to again and again– in talking about voice I hope to discuss how we use what is most familiar to us and channel it onto the page.

Looking forward to being there! Thanks again- jill

by Doris Schneider


For more information about the
2015 Pamlico Writers Conference or Competition
visit our website at:
And follow us on Facebook:
or check us out on Twitter:
With only three (3) days left before Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition Third Annual conference begins there isn’t much time left to register on-line. But don’t dispair, you may also register at the door for both Friday, March 20, 2015’s events and Saturday, March 21, 2015’s conference.

Visit our website for a complete list of planned events for both days, events and workshops:
Hurry, don’t miss it.
Register soon.

Emily Louise Smith Interview 3-16-15


March 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm
The Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

Emily Louise Smith is senior lecturer and director of the Publishing Laboratory, UNC – Wilmington. She is also founder and publisher of Lookout Books along with it sister magazine, Ecotone. Ms. Smith’s poems have appeared Best New Poets 2010, Columbia Poetry Review, Front Porch, New South, The Journal, Smartish Pace, the Southern Review, and Tar River Poetry, among others. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, after lunch, Ms. Smith will be presenting a discussion titled “Why Indies Matter to the Publishing Landscape”. This discussion will be open to all attendees and prove helpful for each of us.

Now to our interview:

Emily Louise Smith - 2



Emily Louise Smith
Director of the Publishing Laboratory
UNC Wilmington


Q.    How do you define your professional identity? Are you a teacher first or publisher? How do you balance two such demanding and consuming professions?

       A.    The short answer is that my work as a publisher is entwined with and informs my teaching. Among my favorite aspects of working for a boutique literary imprint and teaching press is the opportunity to be involved in every stage of the publishing process, and my students are in turn exposed to that range. Our projects aren’t just simulations; everything we produce on behalf of our literary magazine, Ecotone, and imprint, Lookout Books, has to be of the highest quality, meticulously edited and designed, and promoted with thoughtfulness and imagination. Our publications compete in the marketplace with those produced by professionals at houses with superior resources.
As proud as I am of the foundational coursework we’ve implemented at UNCW, I know that my best teaching happens through apprenticeship, when I model passion and creativity in my work as a publisher. Even before they can fully appreciate the variables that lead to book acquisitions and fruitful editorial relationships, much less the financial risks and rewards, I try to let students in on my research and decision making—when we’re successful and when we lose a manuscript to another house, when a clever publicity campaign results in widespread media attention and when, despite our best efforts, a deserving book doesn’t find its audience.
I try to inspire my students to carry into the world beyond our hallways their appreciation for intelligent editing and imaginative design, an unflagging belief that books enlarge our sympathies. Having invested in the Pub Lab and labored tirelessly to help our books garner national attention, I expect an extraordinary level of commitment from our student interns. But, in turn, I extol their talents and passions, and strive to ignite their sense of leadership and responsibility, helping them recognize in themselves the power they have to shape literature. Of course, it’s a balancing act that I’m still learning, now more than ten years in, how to juggle the rewarding yet consuming work of mentorship alongside the daily demands and responsibilities of publishing.

Q.    Why did you choose publishing as your career?

       A.    I eagerly entered UNCW’s MFA program in poetry after several years in advertising, and another couple as associate director of alumni relations for my alma mater, Davidson College. Presumably someone in the Publishing Laboratory plucked my application from the pile on the chance that I might appreciate the unlikely but beautiful marriage of art and business that distinguishes publishing. Those three years as a publishing graduate assistant under Pub Lab founder and retired head of HarperCollins Canada, Stanley Colbert, as well as his successor Barbara Brannon, changed my life. From them, I devoured the principles of effective book design and typography; became adept at navigating desktop publishing software; read manuscripts, pitched projects, and considered the viability of book proposals; thoroughly flagged my first copy of the Chicago Manual of Style; and brainstormed and carried out marketing and publicity ideas. I listened intently as Stan rattled off swashbuckling tales of producing Flipper and the Emmy award-winning Fraggle Rock, of selling the mammoth manuscript that became Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Stan believed in invention, in empowering students to curate literary culture by demystifying the publishing process and putting the tools in our hands. His are big shoes to fill.
I spent the following year apprenticing under Betsy Teter, as part of a writing fellowship with the Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg, SC, and since then, my devotion to books and publishing has not wavered.

Q.    Recently named as Wilmington’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts, what does this award mean to you?

       A.    While this generous award from the YWCA came on the heels of Lookout Books’ early, national success in seeking out historically underrepresented and debut authors and of course launching Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision to widespread critical praise, it meant just as much to me to be recognized for my work in the Wilmington community, specifically for championing the Pub Lab’s first authors and books—Backyard Carolina by public-radio commentator and naturalist Andy Wood, The Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens, a tribute to outsider artist Minnie Evans that was compiled by Susan Taylor Block and artist Virginia Wright Frierson, and of course Ecotone, the department’s literary magazine of place-based writing, which I helped found as a graduate student and now advise in my dual role as art director and publisher. I remain deeply invested in the publication, especially in the work my colleagues and I do to discover and nurture emerging talents.
The Woman of Achievement award also acknowledged my mentorship of students, here at UNC Wilmington and beyond, and with the courageous young writers at Dreams of Wilmington, whom I had the good fortune to teach and create a chapbook for my first year back in town. Mostly, I love that the award seemed to commend a publishing adage I hold dear: a book is always bigger than its physical object. Those of us in the profession are united in building communities around books.

by Doris Schneider

For more information about the
2015 Pamlico Writers Conference or Competition
visit our website at:
And follow us on Facebook:
or check us out on Twitter:

There are only four (4) days left before Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition Third Annual conference begins. Visit our website for a complete list of planned events for Friday evening, March 20, 2015 and events and workshops for Saturday’s conference:
Hurry, don’t miss this event.
Register soon.

Marni Graff Interview – Part Two 3-13-15

pwccMarch 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm
The Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

As promised, here is Part-Two of our interview with the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England and premiering in the Spring of 2015, her new Manhattan series called, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio; Mystery Writer, Marni Graff.

Ms. Graff will be one of three panelists for our morning presentation of Launching Today’s Writer. She will also present a workshop titled, Tying You to Your Readers: Using Social Media, Readings, Book Tours, in one of our breakaway sessions. This workshop should prove helpful for all those in attendance.

Now for Part-Two of our interview:

Marni Graff - Headshot    2015

Marni Graff
Mystery Writer

The Nora Tierney Mysteries:

The Blue Virgin: A Nora Tierney Mystery (Oxford)
First Place Winner: Mystery and Mayhem Award for British Cozy, Chanticleer Book Media

The Green Remains: Book 2 (Lake District)
The Scarlet Wench: Book 3 (Lake District)

Marni Graff - The Blue Virgin_cover_frontcover    2015Q.    Is there any book(s)/author(s) that you feel has most influenced you and your writing?

       A.    Other writers who influenced me growing up would be the Golden Age gals: Christie, Sayers, Tey, Marsh and Conan Doyle. I adore Wilkie Collins and Daphne Du Maurier, all that gothic goodness gone wild. As I contemplated being a writer, it was P. D. James who I admired, for the importance of setting, and for the psychological depth of her works and the intricacies she built into her stories, always about the human heart.

Q.    Are there any new authors that have especially grabbed your interest? Why?

     A.    I like stories with complex characters who keep me flipping pages with interesting stories. There are tons, as I read about 3 mysteries a week for my crime review blog, Auntie M Writes ( I’ve read and continue to enjoy Peter Robinson, Peter Lovesey, John Harvey, Ruth Rendell and Francis Fyfield, Deborah Crombie, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Barry Maitland, M R Hall, Ann Cleeves and Minette Walters. I’ve discovered Aline Templeton, Mark Billingham, Stephen Booth and adore Michael Robotham. Huge Louise Penny fan, too. Some newer authors I’m reading and enjoying are Sophie Hannah, A D Garrett, Harry Bingham, Sharon Bolton, Jane Casey, Alan Bradley and especially Elizabeth Haynes and Elly Griffiths, Kate Rhodes, Christopher Brookmyre and Louise Voss & Mark Edwards.

Q.    If we were to glimpse a peek into your writing life, what would your writing process look like? (Do you set daily/weekly/etc. goals; do you write using a pen and paper, laptop/computer or a combination of both?)

      A.    I always have some kind of small notebook in my backpack for jotting down ideas, snatches of overheard conversation, a scent or a smell I might want to remember. I take copious notes in a notebook longhand and have a three-hole binder I use to keep information I collect during the research and plotting phase. That’s also where I keep the character bibles for each book, and these go beyond their names and physical descriptions. They might encompass a bit of social/family history for a character who has a bigger part in the book down to a sketch of a few lines for those who are very minor. These help me decide how that person would act and what they would say when I’m actually writing them by making those decisions and crafting them into people I recognize.
When I actually start writing the text, it’s on a laptop and stays there in its various drafts. I write in the afternoon, when errands and house things are done, the dog has been walked, the emails answered and the marketing bits of writing are done and I feel the weight of those responsibilities off me. It’s when I’ve found my brain is most alert and ready as I’m a night owl and stay up very late reading so mornings are not my best brain power time. I had to learn this about myself and I think each writer has to learn what schedule works best for themselves that actually allows them the time to sit at the page and write.

Marni Graff - The Green Remains_frontcover    2015

Q.    Is there a new book or story that you are working on?

       A.    I’m coming down the wire to bring out DEATH UNSCRIPTED, the first Trudy Genova mystery. That’s out to final beta readers and will get one more polish revision after that based on their comments. It’s cover is being designed right now and will be vastly different from the English series, which always have a color in the title and a color wash that corresponds on the cover. I’m hopeful it will be in print in May or June. As that wraps up I’m working on the first draft of THE GOLDEN HOUR, the fourth Nora Tierney Mystery. At times when I can’t sleep I’ll add notes to the storyline for the fifth book, and know where the sixth will be set and have visited the area, Cornwall, on my last trip to England, always thinking ahead. So there are lots of balls in the air being juggled.

Q.    If you could do it all over, is there anything you’d do differently? Why? (Maybe something you’ve considered, but never attempted.)

      A.    I think I should say I’d have started writing mysteries earlier. I was a nurse for thirty years who wrote ‘on the side’ while I studied writing and honed my regular skills writing for a nursing magazine. But it was always my intention to write novels, and I knew they would be mysteries because those are the books I enjoy reading the most. But then I wouldn’t have had the time to study or the resources to meet the people I’ve met who have influenced me, so that’s a double-edged sword. I was fortunate to be accepted to two writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, studied six different summers at The University of Iowa, and one summer at Oxford University. That summer I was also writing interviews for Mystery Review magazine, who set up an interview for me with my hero, P. D. James. That meeting turned into a fourteen-year mentorship and friendship I wouldn’t trade for the world. It was James who insisted I had to eventually write a mystery on a soap opera set because readers love behind-the-scenes looks at worlds they don’t know. So the long-winded answer is NO, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Q.    What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

       A.    P D James told me: “The real writing gets done in revision.” I repeat this constantly to my writing colleagues. Your story and original idea is like a lump of clay that subsequent revisions will hone and polish. She taught me to embrace rewrites and revisions instead of looking at them as drudgery. I’ve heard my husband tell people he doesn’t know how I can rewrite the books several times over, but to me, the hardest part is the first draft. After that the real fun sets in as I carve out what doesn’t belong, add in what should be there, and add texture and shine.

Q.    Is there a publisher or press you work with? How did you get involved with them?

       A.    I have a lovely and impressive NY agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd, who has never been able to sell any of my books—yet. He lives in hope. I decided I wanted my stories in print and use an author’s cooperative, Bridle Path Press, which is a non-profit organization designed to help authors get their books in print. It was started by a member of my novel critique group (the Screw Iowa Writing Group), Lauren Small. After working with her for the past few years I’ve become the Managing Editor of the press as its grown and help to shepherd new authors through the process. We help authors find printers, copyeditors, book designers, cover designers, obtain ISBN numbers and Library of Congress applications, etc. And the beauty of it is that except for a very small website fee, shared by all the authors, we have no financial input except to our own work and keep all of the profits when a book is sold. It’s a community of authors spread out across the country who support each other, so if Kathleen Asay in California does a book fair, she takes along copies of my mysteries to sell. And when the Press does a book fair, all of its author’s books are sold.

Marni Graff - Scarletwench_cover    2015

Q.    Do you have an amusing story or something about you’d like to share that people might not know about you?

       A.    I adore putting jigsaw puzzle together! I always have one in process. They relax me and force me to focus, good training for when I get stumped on a plot point!

Thank you very much for this opportunity to reflect and share. I look forward to seeing writers and talking more about the craft of writing at the Pamlico Writers Conference!

by Kaylene Wilson

For more information about the
2015 Pamlico Writers Conference or Competition
visit our website at:
And follow us on Facebook:
or check us out on Twitter:

Writing Competition deadline is fast approaching, March 15, 2015, is only two days away, so if you’re planning to enter, you’ll need to hurry. Writing Competition details and rules can be found on our website, as well as a complete list of planned events and workshops for the conference:

March 20-21st will be here before you know it, if you haven’t already registered for the Conference do it soon or the seat in a desired workshop you’d like to attend, may not be available.

Don’t miss this opportunity, register soon.

Marni Graff Interview – Part One 3-11-15

pwccMarch 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm
The Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

Today we present Part-One of our interview with Mystery Writer, Marni Graff. Ms. Graff is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England.

The Blue Virgin introduces Nora, an American writer living in Oxford. The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench trace Nora’s move to the Lake District where murder follows her.  Ms. Graff is currently working on her fourth in the series called, The Golden Hour, set in Bath.

In the Spring of 2015 she will be premiering her new Manhattan series called, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio.

Among Ms. Graff’s many talents she also co-authored Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. She writes crime novel reviews at and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, and also runs the NC Writers’ Read program in Belhaven, NC.

Ms. Graff will be one of three panelists in our morning presentation of Launching Today’s Writer and later in a breakaway session workshop titled Tying You to Your Readers: Using Social Media, Readings, Book Tours. You won’t want to miss this workshop as it should prove helpful for all those in attendance.

Without further delay, here is Part-One of our interview:



Marni Graff
Mystery Writer

The Nora Tierney Mysteries:
The Blue Virgin: A Nora Tierney Mystery (Oxford)
First Place Winner: Mystery and Mayhem Award for British Cozy, Chanticleer Book Media

The Green Remains: Book 2 (Lake District)
The Scarlet Wench: Book 3 (Lake District) Marni Graff - The Blue Virgin_cover_frontcover    2015Q.    Is there anything you’ve written that you absolutely hated?

       A.    What a great question! I have a love-hate relationship with a short story I wrote—and rewrote—and rewrote called “The Good Eye.” It’s a coming of age story about a 12 yr old country boy who gets his first rifle for his birthday, and goes into the cornfield and up into a tree to kill a squirrel. He promptly kills his neighbor’s cat instead. One of these days I’ll pull it out and rework it. I love that story and some of its parts, but as a whole I’ve never been satisfied with it and it needs more work. I can write poetry, clipped photographic snapshots, or novels, where I have the luxury of creating characters and the expanse of pages for explanation. I find short stories the most difficult format to write.

Q.    When writing, how extensive is the research you put into bringing your books to life on the page (Nora Tierney series & Trudy Genova)?

      A.    First, I always have a real live person in the area of each book who knows the background and whom I can contact as I’m in the process of writing. For the Nora Tierney’s, it has been a retired policeman in the Lake District; in the book for that series that’s in progress, THE GOLDEN HOUR, it’s a friend who lives in Wiltshire just outside Bath, where the book is set. For Trudy’s debut, DEATH UNSCRIPTED, I have the good fortune to have remained friends with Marilyn Chris, an actor I met on the set of “One Life to Live” when I did the nursing job that Trudy does, working as a medical consultant for a movie studio. Each of these contacts reads a finished draft and points out errors.
But before the writing even starts, I’ve done extensive setting research. Trudy was easy: I lived on Long Island and worked in the city and the studio where the soap was filmed. For the English series, I have visited the places I’ve chosen at least twice over the years and have photos to fall back on, plus maps and other flyers and information I’ve kept. I believe setting functions as a character in itself and I invest a lot of time and effort to get it right.
Then there are the plot things that might have to be researched and that all gets done before the writing start, too. For instance, for THE SCARLET WENCH, the plot revolves around a theatre troupe staging Noel Coward’s farce, Blithe Spirit, at Ramsey Lodge in Cumbria where Nora currently lives. The action mirrors accidents that happen in the play, and I wanted to use lines from the original for the chapter epigrams. That meant applying to Coward’s estate, finding the agent who represents them, and getting (and paying for) permission to use them. To my delight, his estate asked for a copy of the book for its archives.
For THE GOLDEN HOUR, a biologic agent is pivotal at one point, and that idea I’m using came from an off the cuff chat with the Infectious Disease specialist treating me when I had meningitis last year! She also recommended a great book which I bought and the first chapter overview alone gave me all the information I needed to sort the plot points out in my mind before plunging into writing.
During the writing, I’ll stop and Google many things to be certain I’ve gotten them right, and I also use a copyeditor, whose job it is to fact check for me.

Q.    What made you choose to write your Nora Tierney book as a series instead of a stand-alone book?

         A.    I liked the idea of creating a character that readers would want to follow on her life’s journey. Nora has to make many important life decisions in the course of solving those pesky murders that keep falling in her path. I’ve made her a very modern woman with modern issues she faces, even though the books are written in traditional English mystery style. I wouldn’t rule out a stand-alone down the road, but I think I see that as more of a suspense thriller.

Q.    Do you have a favorite chapter (or part) you’ve written? Why?

      A.    When I read a section out loud, it’s difficult to find an excerpt from a long book that makes sense to the audience when they don’t know the entire story. So I’ll choose a scene and what it describes and hope they ‘get’ it and they usually do. One of the scenes I always had tremendous comments on was a scene from THE BLUE VIRGIN, where Nora’s best friend Val, who has been accused of murdering her partner, comes home from a tough police interview to her empty flat and must face the things she’s accumulated with Bryn, the dead woman, and this leads her to think about how she will face life without her. I tell audiences that this passage is about grief, and I’ve had people cry when I’m done reading. That ability to move a reader is one reason I write.Marni Graff - The Green Remains_frontcover    2015Q.    What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?

A.    Nora is an American living in England and is true Anglophile. She orders Earl Grey tea for her daily drink or a chai tea if she were splashing out. And shortbread on the side. Trudy likes her coffee dark and sweet and often goes for a mocha with that hint of chocolate in hers. But she hates paying Manhattan prices would probably get her coffee from the corner coffee shop instead of Starbucks…

Q.    Is there one character (in either the Nora Tierney or Trudy Genova series) you would most/least consider inviting to dinner? Do you think he/she would want to hang out with you (his/her creator)? Why?

A.    I think I would like to have dinner with DI Declan Barnes (Nora) or Det. Ned O’Malley (Trudy) and see if either man comes across as sexy yet reserved as I’ve painted them. They are both intelligent, of course, alike in some ways yet different in many others. Either would make a good dinner companion and I certainly hope they’d enjoy meeting me, but that’s every writer’s hope! It would be interesting to see how they’d think I’ve gotten them wrong, wouldn’t it!

By Kaylene Wilson  Marni Graff - Scarletwench_cover    2015

For more information about the
2015 Pamlico Writers Conference or Competition
visit our website at:
And follow us on Facebook:
or check us out on Twitter:

Writing Competition deadline has been extended until March 15, 2015, so if you’re still planning to enter, you’ll need to hurry.  Writing Competition details and rules can be found on our website, as well as a complete list of planned events and workshops for the conference:

If you haven’t registered for the Conference you’ll need to do so soon or your seat in a desired workshop may not be available.  Register soon.

Richard Kraweic – Interview 3-08-15

2015 Pamlico Writers Conference and Competition

March 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm

The Turnage Theatre

150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

Richard Krawiec teaches online at UNC Chapel Hill. He has won the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award. He is the founder of Jacar Press, a Community Active Literary Publisher. Richard Krawiec has published 2 novels, Time Sharing and Faith in What?, a story collection, And Fools of God, 2 books of poetry, She Hands me the Razor and Breakdown, and 4 plays, as well as 2 young adult biographies, and book reviews and feature articles for national publications. We are pleased to announce that he will be presenting an afternoon workshop titled, “How to Write About Sex Without Getting Arrested.” Make sure you get a seat for this one.

Richard Krawiec - 2



Richard Kraweic
Prose writer & Poet,
Editor/Publisher Jacar Press,
Professor, UNC, Chapel Hill

Richard Krawiec:  Every good writer, will tell you it’s in revision you do your best work. Yes, we all like that spark of initial inspiration, but it’s when you revise that you get to really focus in and use all your skills.
Interestingly, this discussion has application to the workshop I’m doing. Writing is not dissimilar to making love. You have that initial attraction to a subject, or situation, or observation, that drives you to engagement. It is exhilarating, that first time. But in the aftermath of that, the prelude to revisiting the same story or poem, the same lover, for another encounter, that’s where you can s pay attention to the whole body of the story or poem. Take your time to trace a line here, explore with your fingers there, go over every phrase, sentence, word – decide when and where to slow down and linger, when and how to move more forcefully, when to hold on, as if with a kiss, when to let go.
But just as people aren’t the same, and have different needs, you don’t revise poetry and prose in the same way. Poetry is more vertical, a line by line exploration, checking each image, sound, rhythm, break. Prose is horizonatl – going over from start to finish, top to bottom. It’s focused on clarification of the overall development scee by scene.
In poetry, the precision of language is what you’re after. Trying to craft the work image by image, make each image resonate against the others.
In prose there’s more of a concern with direct causality. Daoes action A lead to B,and B to C. The action drives a prose piece, and the revision focuses on making sure that’s in order. Action and reaction – those are the basic movements in prose.
In poetry, observations interweave with ideas. That’s what moves most poems forward.
Poets can tinker with one or two lines for an hour or two and feel they’ve accomplished something. Prose writers need to work on several pages at least, or else they feel like they’re cheating themselves.

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Doris Schneider Interview – Part-Two 3-6-15

2015 Pamlico Writers Conference and Competition

March 21, 2015 8:30am to 6pm

The Turnage Theatre

150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889


Doris Schneider - 2    2015

Doris Schneider
Theatre Director, Set Designer & Author


Doris Schneider is a passionate member of the Pamlico Writers Conference steering committee. Planning her new blog site, she’s using her years of theater to aid others in writing. As a retired Professor of Theatrical Arts she will use skills learned in the theater to teach writing students how to map out crowd and fight scenes in her workshop titled, “Mapping the Movement of Characters: Planning Action & Crowd Scenes.” Sign up soon or you might miss it.

Doris Schneider - Borrowed_Things_Cover    2015



Q. Who was the greatest influence on your writing?
    A. If you mean which writer influenced me, I don’t have an answer for that. There are so many. If you mean, which person, I would say Rachel Victoria Mills. She was my journaling teacher in Washington.

Q. While writing, do you listen to music or have an object or picture around to help inspire or influence your writing?
    A. I write in the early morning before my husband or our dogs are up and in need of my attention. I require absolute focus to write creatively, no music or conversation. Rewrites are easier, even though they can be just as creative, introducing entirely new material.

Q. You are very artistic in other ways: theatre, jewelry and painting. Do you think one art leads to another?
    A. I taught theatre and humanities classes. The first thing I taught in many of my classes were the elements and principles of design. They are the same for every art form, from visual, to literature, to acting, music, and dance. And, of course, theatre embraces all of the arts. So, no, one doesn’t lead to another. They are each unique, but all result in creative composition when the elements and principles of design are applied, either instinctively or by artistic choice.

Q. Where is your book available, and where have you sold the most books?
    A. My book is available as an e-book on Smashwords and Amazon. It is also available as a print book on Amazon and in several North Carolina art galleries. Larger sales have been with e-books, as they are less expensive. I haven’t really made an effort at marketing this book. I’m trying to finish the companion novel, By Way of Water, and will then take a year to do a real marketing thrust for both of them. Unfortunately, today’s author is expected to do the bulk of marketing a book, a job few writers relish.

Q. Did you use an agent with Borrowed Things? Will you use one with the next book?
    A. No. For the next book, maybe.

Q. What inspiration can you give to those who are working constantly to get something out there, but keep getting rejected?
    A. Rejection is the norm if you are trying to get an agent and/or publisher. It is a very difficult time in the publishing field due to the e-book and online ordering of print books. We’ve all seen the closing of both large and small book stores.
My advice is to attend writers’ conferences that have programs addressing your concerns. They are important for several reasons. You can gain contacts in the profession and meet other writers who can share their experiences. From the sessions, you can improve your writing skills, learn how to navigate the publishing process, and get tips on marketing your book and yourself.

Q. You’ll be teaching one of the sessions at the 2015 Pamlico Writers Conference. What do you think this session will offer someone that they can’t get anywhere else?
    A. Years ago, I wrote a textbook for theatre students called The Art and Craft of Stage Management, published by Harcourt Brace, Inc. The book includes an original notation system for blocking the movement of actors onstage. When a fellow writer complained about having trouble visualizing an action scene with multiple characters, I demonstrated some of the notation system. It helped her, and I realized it could be valuable to every writer.
The session will focus on simple techniques for charting character positions and movements, particularly useful for planning and visualizing crowd or fight scenes. I will also show how to track pacing and intensity within a chapter or scene, more useful in rewrites.

Q. Why are you so passionate about the Pamlico Writers Conference?
    A. Soon after moving to Washington, I submitted a short story to the New Bern Literary Symposium and won first place in the fiction category. That did so much to bolster my confidence and enthusiasm. When New Bern stopped this annual event, I went to Joey Toler, Director of the Beaufort County Arts Council, and suggested that we, “the Arts Council and the Pamlico Writers Group” host a conference in Washington. Jim Keen had much experience in overseeing writing competitions. Rachel Mills had many contacts with professional writers and educators. The two of them, Marni Graff, Angela Silverthorne, Eloise Currie, Joey, and I rounded out the Steering Committee for the first annual Pamlico Writers Conference in 2013.
I have always loved the production process in theatre, from concept to opening night, as well as all the hard work in-between. I get the same reward with the Pamlico Writers Conference, from choosing a theme to giving out awards at the end of the conference, and all the hard work in-between.
During this transition period in the history of writing and publishing, I believe writers groups and writers conferences are of great importance in serving our community of artists. I have met so many generous authors willing to serve as presenters or jurors, and so many new and developing writers willing to sharing in the effort of making our conference a success. I am passionate because it feeds so many, including me.

Doris Schneider - By-Way-of-Water cover    2015

Sherri L Hollister

For information about registering or a complete list of planned events and workshops visit our website at:

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