I was super excited to interview Michele Tracy Berger for the North Carolina Literary Review’s fall 2022 issue on Writers Who Teach, Teachers Who Write. She’s an interesting, forward-thinking Afrofuturist who writes about the Black Fantastic, and shares in my love for genre fiction and great storytelling. Check out the article when you’ve got a chance — I won the Randall Kenan Prize for this essay, which was unexpected and delightful.
Michele’s going to be a guest author at my book club this month. My peeps are excited to read Reenu-Yu and talk to the author. Be sure to grab a copy of her book if you’re looking for something spooky. Don’t forget to leave a great review over at Goodreads.
Happy Hump Day, y’all! I’m excited to bring my one-day Continuing Education workshop, Introduction to Grantwriting, back to Central Carolina Community College. It’s been a long, three-year COVID break, and I’m psyched to get back to the basics. Does your non-profit organization need funding? Do you work in the public school, healthcare, or arts industries? Bet you can get this approved as an off-site workday that’ll be more productive and fun than looking at your office walls all day. 🙂 Sign up today! And spread the word if you’ve got time.
Dolly R. Sickles is the winner of the 2022 Randall Kenan Prize for her interview essay “Examining ‘Otherness’ on the Page and in the Classroom with Michele Tracy Berger.” The Randall Kenan Prize is sponsored by the UNC Chapel Hill Creative Writing Program for the year’s best essay on or interview with a new or relatively new North Carolina writer, accepted for publication in NCLR. Glenis Redmond, poet-in-residence at the Peace Center for Performing Arts in Greenville, SC, and former mentor poet for the National Student Poet’s Program, selected Sickles’s essay on Berger, saying “In her writing, Berger does the heavy lifting––providing space for others, as well as reflecting, as an intentional mirror for others to imagine themselves in both the present and the future. The author of this essay was eager to find out whether Michele Tracy Berger is more a writer who teaches or a teacher who writes. With countless published stories and a novel coming out this year, we find there is no definitive line between the two. Berger is ever-present in both fields.” Sickles’s interview essay will appear in NCLR Online Fall 2022.
A freelance writer and teacher, Sickles is the author of children’s books and romance novels. Her subject for the Kenan Prize essay, Michele Tracy Berger, is a Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, who publishes both scholarship and fiction. Berger’s 2017 novella, Reenu-You, is an example of the speculative fiction by African American writers that she talked about with Sickles.
Pre-orders are up now for IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, for both paperback and digital editions. I hope you’ll get a copy, and leave a [great, 5-star] review. 🙂 And if you’ve got a local bookstore, ask them to carry it. It’s good for your karma.
I have the great honor of sharing the spotlight with my favorite (and only) son Peyton today as we’re highlighted through the Chatham Arts Council’s Meet the Artist series. I thought Rachel Flanagan did a great job; the whole process was enjoyable. The arts have been hit hard during this coronavirus quarantining, so shout out to all arts patrons who have helped keep the lights on with arts orgs, and who’ve helped artists pay the bills. I’ve been around the block, but my young, emerging artist is just starting out and his steady work during this period has a hopeful vibe for this proud mother, artist, and arts patron. Seek out local artists and arts organizations and see how you might help support them — not all support has to be financial, either. Boost the signal of their work, send kind words of support, share their contact information with potential patrons and clients. The arts are incredibly important, and through organizations like the Chatham Arts Council, and Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro (who sponsor the Meet the Artist series), there continues to be an audience.
I’m always happy for folks to check out my kid lit stuff and my romance stuff, but I really hope you’ll check out the links for Peyton. He’s an amazing photographer, and a true emerging artist. And if you happen to need portraits, event coverage, a photojournalist, or film development, hit him up.
Are you participating in NaNo this year? I am. I’m preparing for a training session during lunch where I’ll learn how to liaise through Discord. Should be interesting. Now’s the time to start brainstorming your project if you’re going to join in. There’s no winner or loser, no competition–just a challenge to yourself to start that novel you’ve been dreaming about. Or maybe finish that novel that’s been pushed to the back burner. Or try something new. I’ll be posting more regularly throughout November, but until then you can find me as BeckyMoore.
2010: the year I joined
272,287: the number of words I’ve written since I joined
6: the number of years I wrote and actively created content
5: the number of years I reached the 50,000 word goal
4: the number of years overlapped by my TBI recovery
2: the number of books that have been published from NaNo efforts
2: the number of years I’ve been a Municipal Liaison
Come write with me! I’ve got a busy spring with four classes at two terrific community colleges. Whether you’re pursuing your dream of writing a book, or funding something important in your community, find your verb, and do it on your side of town!
Introduction to Grantwriting: learn the basics of writing a grant in a hands-on, workshop-style setting. We will cover the different components of grants, and learning to set and maintain a workable grant cycle, building a successful grants management program, developing a logic model, tracking possibilities in the business community, and applying good storytelling to a successful program. (Get in touch if you’d like for me to work directly with your organization.)
Writing for Young Audiences: develop and begin writing a manuscript for a children’s book during the classwork workshop periods. Additionally, we discuss the business of writing for children, including how to identify publishers, how to write a query and synopsis, and how to market your work.
The Business of Writing Romance: develop & begin writing a romance book manuscript. Instruction will focus on the craft of writing, along with elements of style (plot, characterization, setting) and process (outlining, etc.). Business discussion includes identifying publishers, preparing queries & submissions, and self vs. traditional publishing.
If you haven’t signed up for NaNoWriMo yet, now’s the time. My fellow Chapel Hill Wrimos have lots of great events planned. You can find me as BeckyMoore, and this year I’ll be working on a contemporary romance tentatively called The Optimistic Gardener. Wish me luck!
I’m excited to be the new Municipal Liaison (ML) in Pittsboro, partnering with Chapel Hill ML, Maia Maile, to host lots of fun events throughout November. Here’s a listing (so far) of kick-off’s, write-in’s and TGIO celebrations. Never participated in NaNo? Check it out here. Want to join our Chapel Hill Wrimos group? Check it out here. Want to join our Chapel Hill Wrimos on Facebook? Check it out here. Want to make a donation? Make it here. You can find me participating as BeckyMoore. Hope to see you at one of the events!