The autumnal equinox will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 2:50 am, at which point summer will officially come to an end and fall will begin. Now, I think it should take place at 2:23 am just to keep the 23-thing going, but the celestial bodies don’t care what I think. Since the celestial bodies are in charge, we will have to stick to 2:50 am. The arrival of fall means that the daylight hours will dwindle a bit with each passing day, and that means that many of us will be spending more time indoors. Well, the obvious corollary to that phenomenon is that we will have more time to write, and Charlotte Lit is here to help.
The good folks at Charlotte Lit are not letting the autumnal equinox sneak up on them. They have scheduled a wide range of fall programming for all kinds of writers. I contacted Paul Reali and Kathie Collins, the co-founders of Charlotte Lit, and I asked them for more information about their fall programs. Here is what they sent to me:
Mark, fall is an exciting time at Charlotte Lit. We’ve launched our full September-to-May calendar and we open entries for the 2024 Lit/South Awards.
Lit/South — we have to begin with our judges. We’re pinching ourselves, truly. In fiction, our judge is the great NC writer Clyde Edgerton. In creative nonfiction, the amazing Maggie Smith. And in poetry, Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown—who will also be here in person in May to headline our annual Lit Up! event. They’ll help us award $6,000 in total prizes: $1,000 for the winner in each category, plus a shared $3,000 prize pool for the finalists. And, publication in Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit for all those plus selected semi-finalists. It’s open for just a month: October 1 to November 1, here: https://www.charlottelit.org/litsouth.
Writing classes — we have more than 50 on the calendar, so we’ll just highlight a few of the early ones. Almost all of these are on Zoom, so they’re easy for anyone to attend.
This Tuesday, September 19 — act now, it’s almost full! — former Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly leads a masterclass with the great title: “Build Me a Hummingbird of Words: Distilling Your Life Into a Flash.”
In fiction we have “Writing the Short Story,” three sessions with Craig Buchner starting September 26. “Manipulating Time in Fiction” with Paula Martinac is September 28.
In memoir, Judy Goldman — legendary teacher, her classes always fill up — leads another three-session class, “All About Me: Lessons on Writing Memoir,” beginning October 12.
In poetry, here are two events. To celebrate National Blank Poetry Day, we’ll host a free in-person conversation on literary citizenship, October 6, with NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green and two Charlotte poets, Jah Smalls and city poet laurate Jay Ward. Jaki will also teach a master class the next day. Then, on October 24, Pulitzer Prize nominee Morri Creech teaches “The Expressive Power of Repetition: The Pantoum and the Villanelle.”
Finally, for writers trying to publish their work, we cover the wide span from poems to novels. Kathy Izard leads “Paths to Self-publishing” on October 17; and Ashley Memory leads “Publishing Short Pieces: Contests and Open Calls” on November 7.
There’s so much more, but that’s a good sample of what we’re doing. And for anyone who doesn’t know where to begin, we have a free writing session every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. called Pen to Paper. The best place to begin is: https://www.charlottelit.org/catalog
Storied Charlotte readers, we hope to see you or your pixels soon!
I thank Paul and Kathie for sharing this information about Charlotte Lit’s fall offerings. I also thank Charlotte Lit for providing Storied Charlotte writers with a veritable cornucopia of writing opportunities.