Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Venerable Charlotte Writers' Club launches new season

"In those first days it was surprising to me that so many Charlotte men and women really were skillful writers. They had needed just the spur and the confidence which this club was able to give them."

--Adelia Kimball, in a 1928 Charlotte Observer story on the Charlotte Writers’ Club

In 1922, Kimball, a recent transplant from Massachusetts, organized a local writers’ club in Charlotte.

Nearly 90 years later, the Charlotte Writers’ Club, one of the city’s oldest clubs, remains an important resource for aspiring and established authors. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the club kicks off a new season with a discussion of current publishing trends, including on-demand and e-publishing. If Kimball could only attend, she’d be amazed.

Still, much about the Charlotte Writers’ Club remains the same. With about 260 members, it continues to organize critique groups, where writers gather to read and review each others’ work. It also offers reasonably priced or free writing workshops.

Monthly meetings feature speakers, including authors, professors, literary agents and publishers, who discuss writing and literature from a range of perspectives.

Members include poets and novelists, memoirists, screenwriters, journalists. Some have published extensively. Some have never published. Most pursue their creative writing along with their day jobs.
Sherry Nadworny, for instance, works in public relations, but also writes fiction. She’d moved to Charlotte from Boston last year, sad to leave her writing group there.

Then she discovered the club and joined a critique group. “I found them to be incredibly welcoming, talented people,” she says. “It’s nice to have a group to help you get better. Everyone needs an editor.”
And maybe it’s just the gentility of the South, she says, but even when her critique members don’t like something about her work, “They say it in a lovely way.”

Want to know more?

The Charlotte Writers’ Club meets monthly September through May at Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Road.

Kevin Watson, founder of Winston-Salem’s Press 53, will discuss independent publishing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20.

‘The Tarball Chronicles’
In "The Tarball Chronicles” (Milkweed Editions; $24), UNC Wilmington’s David Gessner takes a journey “into the heart of the Gulf oil spill.” Publishers Weekly calls the work a “brilliant, thoughtful book.” It’s out on Sept. 19.

UNC Charlotte hosts award-winning journalist

Journalist and author Cynthia Barnett speaks at UNC Charlotte at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, on her new book, "Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis."

In the book, Barnett calls for a national water ethic. She uses the Catawba River to illustrate the key role water plays in America's energy supply.

Barnett's talk is scheduled for room 128 of the College of Health and Human Services. She'll sign books afterward.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good food, good books: It's Bibliofeast

Good food, good books, good discussions.

That's the essence of Charlotte's Bibliofeast, a literary moveable feast featuring eight authors who chat with guests as they enjoy dinner.

Bibliofeast was a sold-out hit when the Charlotte chapter of the Women's National Book Association launched the event last year.

This year, the group has booked a larger venue -- Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant at SouthPark -- and plans to feature eight authors for the Oct. 10 evening. Authors will visit with diners, discussing their books, throughout the evening.

Authors so far confirmed are: Ellen Baker ("I Gave My Heart to Know This"); Ann Hite ("Ghost on Black Mountain"); Heather Newton ("Under the Mercy Trees"); Michael Parker ("The Watery Part of the World"); Drew Perry ("This Is Just Exactly Like You"); and JohnMilliken Thompson ("The Reservoir".)

The event runs from 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $45 for member, $50 for nonmembers. They're available at Park Road Books and at the WNBA website.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"The Perfect Storm" author at Davidson College

Author and war correspondent Sebastian Junger speaks on "Twenty Years of Reporting from Around the World" 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Davidson College's Duke Family Performance Hall.

Junger's "The Perfect Storm" recounts the 1991 story of the Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat caught in a storm off the Massachusetts coast. The book,a bestseller,was made into a 2000 movie.

Junger has also reported on war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. His wrote about his experience in Afghanistan in the book "WAR." His work has been published in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and Harper's.

The Davidson event is free, but tickets are required. For details: 704-894-2135.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carolina Mountains Literary Fest starts Thursday

Charlotte's literary festival, the Novello Festival of Reading, is, unfortunately, no more. But if you're looking for a literary fix this week, head to the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville, less than three hours away.

Ron Rash ("Serena") and Audrey Niffenegger ("The Time Traveler's Wife") are featured authors at the sixth annual festival. The three-day event begins Thursday evening, Sept. 8, with a free screening of the documentary, "The Day Carl Sandburg Died."

Some 30 authors are scheduled to participate in readings, workshops and book signings on Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday, Sept. 10. Most are free. Check out the full schedule here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"A Hobo Odyssey" at Park Road Books

S.C. writer Larry Nichols will read and sign copies of "A Hobo Odyssey" 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.

Set during the Depression, Nichols' novel follows two young men who take up the hobo life, riding trains in search of adventure. Nichols, who grew up in Cramerton and now lives in Taylors, S.C., is also author of "Memories of Cramerton: A Cotton Mill Town."