This year the NC Writers Conference--a longstanding, loosely organized group of NC writers--met in Asheville for its annual gathering. I loved every minute of the time there, the last weekend in July. I remember when I first attended back in the early 1990s as a guest of my late friend Marie Gilbert, who later nominated me for membership. I was starry eyed at being among so many talented writers, and I loved the warm spirit, the casual fun of the group. I still do love the group's laid-back, yet friendly energy.
This year Margaret Bauer, Programs Chair, asked me to moderate the session on the James Applewhite Poetry Prize, which meant that I got to introduce James Applewhite before he announced the winner of this year's contest sponsored annually by North Carolina Literary Review. I also got to introduce the finalists and honorable mentions for this year. And we all got to hear readings by them--plus a reading by Jim Applewhite from his new book Cosmos. Did I mention that I had a great time? Yes, all weekend!
Next year our gathering will be in "Little" Washington--Washington, NC. Can't wait!