Charlotte Writers' Club
October Program: Writer Cynthia Lewis

Dr. Cynthia Lewis will be joining the Charlotte Writers' Club on Tuesday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Providence United Methodist Church for our second general meeting this year. 

Cynthia Lewis graduated summa cum laude from Ohio State University in 1974.  She then moved to Cambridge, Mass., to pursue her Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language. There, she studied early modern dramatists including Middleton, Webster, and Shakespeare. She was a teaching fellow at Harvard University and, in her last year of graduate studies, the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship. In 1980, Dr. Lewis accepted her current teaching post at Davidson College, where she now holds the Charles A. Dana Professorship of English. 

In the early 1980s, she developed and taught a course on advanced composition, which in subsequent years evolved into "Creative Nonfiction." During her sabbatical in 2000, Lewis investigated the mystery of Eric Rudolph, the alleged serial bomber rumored then to be at large in the North Carolina mountains. This research led to her first published nonfiction article in 2001 in Southern Cultures. Since then, Lewis has published articles on a wide variety of topics, from female bodybuilders to the Kim Thomas murder investigation in Charlotte, N.C. She has also published a good deal of personal narrative, including a piece in Charlotte Magazine about moonlighting, during another sabbatical, as a bartender.
Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author
Poet and creative writing instructor Alice Osborn will offer "Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author" on Saturday, October 18, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at Providence United Methodist Church. 

This Charlotte Writers' Club-sponsored workshop is for both published and yet-to-be published writers who need help crafting a marketing strategy for getting the word out about their books via social media networking, websites, blogs, and the good old-fashioned way with press release and media contacts. If no one knows who you are, how will they buy your book? Osborn will give tips and tricks from her own experience as a successful published writer/editor and will address publicity/marketing tips for both traditionally and self-published authors.

The cost is $25 for Charlotte Writers' Club members and $35 for non-members. To register: email or visit the Charlotte Writers' Club website, click the Donate button and indicate which workshop you will attend and whether you are a member or non-member.
Meet-A-Member: Nancy Stancill

Quick Bio:
Nancy Stancill was born in Johnson City, Tennessee, grew up in Virginia and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stancill received a B.A. degree in Journalism from UNC Chapel Hill and is working on an MFA degree in creative writing in a low-residency program at the University of Tampa. She retired from newspaper journalism after 38 years, by which time she had worked for the Houston Chronicle and Charlotte Observer. Now, at 65, Stancill writes fiction. Her first book, Saving Texas, was published in 2013.

Learn more about her work at or find her on Facebook. 

1. What type of writing do you do? What challenges you the most and what comes naturally?
For many years I wrote newspaper stories, all kinds, from news to features to investigative stories. I started writing a novel when we moved from Charlotte to London in 2009 and spent two years writing my first thriller, Saving Texas. It's about journalism and politics. When we returned to Charlotte in late 2012, I began trying to get it published. A small publisher in Texas, Black Rose Writing, picked it up and published it in October 2013. Now I'm working on a sequel.

2. How do you cultivate inspiration for your work?
I like to think about a plot for quite a while and then try to outline chapters so that I can get a sense of how it might fit together. So far, I've drawn inspiration from the beautiful scenery in West Texas and the Hill Country and many experiences I had as a reporter.

3. What do you enjoy most about the Charlotte Writers' Club?
I just joined the club last year, and I'm very impressed with the eclectic membership and talent within the club. It's great when so many writers come together to share their insights and experience.

4. What writing advice would you pass on to other writers?
Keep at it and believe in yourself. I try to write or revise or do research for my book every day, but I am constantly fighting distraction! Even if you just put in an hour or two each day, it helps keep your creativity flowing. I also love to read and learn from other writers, to try to analyze what makes books work - or not.

5. In a sentence or two, what else would you like people to know about you?
I have a wonderful husband who retired last year from banking and has been a huge support in my writing career, from carrying boxes of books to bookstore events to keeping complicated sales records for taxes. He's also my chief proofreader and first critic. I couldn't do without his help. We have a grown son and daughter-in-law and a beautiful big black cat named Spud.
Community Involvement
As the Charlotte region's premier writing network, CWC periodically receives requests for readings and information about opportunities for involvement in special events or long-term programs aimed at writing and literacy. We know many of you are engaged in your communities and passionate about reading and writing. We would like to be able to connect interested members with these options as they arise.

To do that we are compiling a database of people who are interested in giving back in this way. When opportunities are brought to our attention we will then forward them to appropriate individuals. 

If you're interested in being included in this initiative, please send an email to with the following information:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number (and best time to call)
  • Days of the week and the times of day you might be available
Thanks for your commitment to our community and your passion for writing. We'll be in touch!
A local writing class could cost a couple hundred dollars, tickets for one of the many speaker programs in the Charlotte area for a one-time presentation can cost $50 to $60 per person to sit in an auditorium of hundreds. 

By joining or renewing your membership in the Charlotte Writers' Club, you support and receive the benefit of a full 9-months of programming. 

Your membership of $30 for an individual or $40 for a couple allows us to bring high-quality published authors to share their experiences and wisdom in an intimate setting. 

Plus, raise your hand and ask a question - we have time for that.

Join or renew today for the 2014-2015 year! We thank you for all that your support allows CWC to do for the literary community in the Charlotte region.
In This Issue
Reading Postponed
Please note that the CWC-North Reading of poems from the recently published collection Above the Fold that was scheduled on Sunday, September 28, has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at a later date.
October 18
"Workshop: Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author"
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

October 21
General Meeting with
Creative Nonfiction Writer Cynthia Lewis
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

November 18
General Meeting with Fiction Writer
Alex Prutenu
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC
General Meeting Location
Please note that all CWC General Meetings in the 2014-2015 year will meet at: 

Providence United Methodist Church
2810 Providence Rd.

Click here for a map of the new location.
Members Prize
October 21, 2014

Nonfiction Prize
November 18, 2014

For a complete listing of CWC contests, please click here.
Mark Havilik's flash fiction piece,
was published in the latest issue of Drunken Boat, Issue 19.

Mark Havilik's
"In a Word" received first place in the Winston-Salem Writers competition for Creative Nonfiction, and as such it appears in their just released anthology,
Writing Prompt
Creative Non-Fiction Prompt
Write about a moment in your life that made you happy but caused pain and sadness for someone else.

Writer's Digest, July/August 2014 issue, p. 29
Quick Links

A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain around us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.
~Virginia Woolf

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