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Building Bridges

NC Writers' Network conference in Charlotte

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The North Carolina Writers' Network returns to Charlotte this year for their annual Fall Conference on November 16-18. The theme for the 17th annual event will be Bridges, Not Boundaries.

Keynote speaker on Friday night, November 16, will be American Book Award winner Gloria Naylor. Naylor is the author of the acclaimed novels The Women of Brewster Place, Linden Hills, Mama Day and Bailey's Café. Her 8pm reading and talk will be open to the public and admission is $10.

A full slate of workshops will follow on Saturday. Lunch on Saturday will feature a tribute to Charlotte writer Joe Martin. Martin is the author of two books and is living with ALS (Lou Gerhig's Disease). Authors Ross Yockey and Ashley Warlick, who have worked with Martin, will speak and read from Martin's work. Poet Andrew Hudgins will read from his work after the Saturday night banquet.

Workshop and panel discussion leaders include Creative Loafing contributors Frye Gaillard, Amy Rogers and Mary Kratt, playwright Judy Simpson Cook, editor and New York University professor Quraysh Ali Lansana, Dorothy Thompson of Winthrop University, scriptwriter and director of the Duke University Writers' Workshop Georgann Eubanks, poet and professor at Appalachian State University Joseph Bathanti and many more. Dr. Tony Abbott of the Davidson College English Department is chair of the event.

"In light of the events of September 11," said Abbott, "this is a particularly appropriate time for writers to come together, to share thoughts and feelings, and to encourage one another in their craft. This is a very special opportunity for writers in Charlotte to make contact with writers from other parts of the state."

The North Carolina Screenwriters' Conference is being held concurrently with the NCWN event and offers four workshops by film producers and directors.

Sunday's events will include panel discussions with industry professionals and a chance for participants to have manuscripts critiqued. Participation in the "Manuscript Mart" entails an additional $85 fee.

Advance registration for the conference is $200 for NC Writers' Network members and $225 for non-members. After November 9, on-site registration will be $225 for members and $250 for non-members. The full schedule of events is on the web at www.ncwriters.org or you can call 919-967-9540 for a brochure. The conference will take place at the Adam's Mark Hotel. *

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