North Carolina Writers’ Network-West and the Jackson County Public Library will host A Day for Writers in Sylva, on Saturday, Aug. 24.

It has always been the goal of this program to bring the best to the west with reasonable fees so all writers in the mountains can benefit from membership even when they can’t travel long distances or stay in hotels overnight. Fees include coffee, pastries, soft drinks, water and lunch.

The keynote speaker is C. Hope Clark, author of two mystery series and founder of Funds for Writers. Her newsletter has 35,000 readers. She will present two sessions, Why No Two Authors Can Market Alike, and Ten Tips to Make your Novel Better.

Poets will enjoy Joseph Bathanti, former poet laureate of North Carolina, from 2012 -14. He is Writer-in-Residence of Appalachian State University’s Watauga Residential College. Bathanti is recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is the author of 10 books of poetry. His subjects are Writing the Longer Narrative Poem and Writing the Artefactual Poem.

Karen Paul Holmes, poet and teacher, will discuss Metaphors, Images and Similes, plus she will sit on a panel of authors to share her experience of publishing and marketing. Holmes lives in Hiawassee, Georgia part time and in Atlanta when she can’t be there. Holmes has two full-length poetry collections, “No Such Thing as Distance” and “Untying the Knot.” She was chosen a Best Emerging Poet by Stay Thirsty Media and appeared in their 2019 collection of 22 poets including Billy Collins and Robert Pinsky.

Carol Crawford of Blue Ridge, Georgia, who owns Carol Crawford Editing and is a nonfiction writer and poet, will explain to writers what to do before they submit a manuscript. Crawford teaches annually at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She is the author of “The Habit of Mercy, Poems about Daughters and Mothers,” and has been published widely in journals and reviews. Crawford is program coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference.

David Joy, a young, up-and-coming novelist, will present Writing Centered in Place/Landscape as Character. His books have been highly praised as a voice of Appalachia. He hails from Jackson County and his characters could live down the road from him, but, in fact, they are fictional. Joy is the author of the Edgar-nominated novel “Where All Light Tends To Go,” as well as the novels “The Weight Of This World” and “The Line That Held Us.”

Playwrights Patricia Vestal and Katie Winkler are on the schedule this year. They will teach how to write a 10-minute play. Both have had plays produced on stage. Vestal’s plays were in off-off Broadway and on New York TV.

Conference fee for NCWN members is $65, students $35, non-members $78. Writers may join NCWN at the time of registration. 

For more information click on Complete the registration form and mail with a check to Glenda Beall, P.O. Box 43, Hayesville, NC 28904. Register online at