NC Writers Group Events for Early 2020 (Updated)

Writing article background

Compiled by Kay Whatley, Editor (and Writer)

Listed below are Eastern North Carolina writer-oriented meetings, events, conferences, and competitions planned for January through April 2020. One Central NC event is included, a four-part workshop series.

Contact information and links for each group are included; reach out to these groups directly with questions.


Multi-week Course: The Artist’s Way for Writers

Mondays, January 27-April 13, 2020 @ 10am-noon

This 12-week drop-in course will be held at the Selma Public Library, 301 N Pollock Street, Selma, NC. Attend “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” by Julia Cameron. This course uses a group approach to help writers recover a sense of power, strength, faith, and more from their writing.

Course facilitator Cindy Brookshire has a few used books ($10 each) available — reserve your copy at Or, purchase Cameron’s book on Book is needed for the course.


FCAC Writers’ Guild Regular Meetings

Sunday, February 2, 2020 @ 2pm

The Franklin County Arts Council’s Writers Guild supports and encourages writers of all genres and levels of expertise. New members are welcome. Writers Guild meetings are held on a Sunday in February, April, June, August, November, and December.

The Writers Guild meets at Franklin County Arts Council Gallery on the Hill, located at 99 S Bickett Blvd, Louisburg, NC (FCS Annex building behind Ag Extension).

Join the FCAC Writers Guild’s Group on Facebook.

Note: This guild recently published its annual county literary journal, which is available for purchase from


Johnston County Writers Group Meeting

Thursday, February 13, 2020 @ 6-7:45pm

Join the group for this free, open-to-the-public meeting at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield, 305 E Market Street, Smithfield, NC. This month’s guest speaker is artist and author Deborah Dunn, a traditionally published author of inspirational self-help with Simon and Schuster. Dunn has released two historical mysteries based on the archaeology of the Lost Colony and Jamestown under her own publishing brand, Five Rivers Press. She will share her life story — how she came to both write and paint, and a bit about her process — a motivational talk for the winter doldrums!

Group facilitator is Cindy Brookshire, email


FCAC Diversity Team’s Open Mic

Saturday, February 15, 2020 @ 2pm

Franklin County Arts Council’s Diversity Team invites writers of prose and poetry, and musicians and singers, to participate in their annual Open Mic, celebrating Black History Month and our multicultural community. This year’s theme is “I Shall Not Be Moved,” focusing on perseverance, courage and determination.

Open Mic is held at the Muddy Mountain Art and Wine Bar, Suite 102, 348 S Bickett Blvd, Louisburg, NC. Free snacks will be served. Beverages (soft drinks, wine, and beer) may be purchased.

Join the FCAC Writers Guild’s Group on Facebook. (Article)


Four-part Series: Writing Your Manuscript

Four dates in *Central NC* 

UPDATE: Note that a cancellation of these events has been announced March 13, 2020 by the organizers, and the March, April, and May events will not be held. (Part of the March flood of event cancellations to slow the spread of coronavirus.)

Presented by Murder We Write, this monthly series will be held at the High Point Public Library, 291 North Main Street, High Point, NC. Exploring the process from Idea to Finished Manuscript, the series will begin with large-scale building blocks of writing: the development of Characters and Settings which readers will want to discover. Here’s the full schedule:

  • Part One: Character, Setting and POV — Sunday, February 16, 2020, 2-4pm
  • Part Two: Plot, Scene, Conflict, Climax — Sunday March 15, 2020 @ 2-4pm
  • Part Three: Technique — Sunday April 19, 2020 @ 2-4pm
  • Part Four: Finishing Your Manuscript — Sunday May 17, 2020 @ 2-4pm

The series parts are free to writers and readers of all ages and presented by multiple award winning authors. See for more information on this writers’s group, which is the North Carolina Triad Chapter of the Sisters in Crime national organization.


Johnston County Art and Food Festival Writing Competition

Deadline to Enter: February 21, 2020

Festival Date: March 12, 2020 CANCELED

The Eleventh Annual Johnston County Art and Food Festival, presented by the Johnston County Arts Council, has added a Writing category to this annual competition! Enter 1000 words or less: poetry, short story, fiction, non-fiction, or memoir on any arts-related theme or topic. The deadline to submit is February 21, 2020. Details and entry form at:

The festival features signature dishes from many local restaurants and artists’ works in several categories vying for awards. All artists, including writers, who enter their work must purchase a ticket to the fundraising event for $50. In the Writing category, awards will be: 1st place: $200, 2nd place: $100, 3rd place: Ribbon, Honorable Mention: Ribbon.

This festival is held at the Johnston County Agricultural Center, 2736 NC-210 Hwy, Smithfield, NC.

Check out the council’s expanded literary arts information on the Johnston County Arts Council website! At the bottom of that page, enter an email address to begin receiving the arts council’s monthly e-news.


Johnston County Writers Open Mic Night

Friday, February 28, 2020 @ 6:30-7:30pm

Held on the fourth Friday of each month, members and non-members can join the fun at Selma Public Library, 301 N Pollock Street, Selma, NC. Writers, poets, musicians, and others may take the stage, or be a part of the audience. Next date: March 27, 2020.

Join the Johnston County Writers’ Group on Facebook.


Spring Writers Workshop

Saturday, March 28, 2020 @ 8:30am-2:30pm

Registration is Open for the Johnston County Writers Group’s 2nd-annual Spring Writers Workshop. This year’s workshop will be held at the Selma Lions Club, 203 W Oak Street, Selma, NC.

USA Today best-selling author Susan Schild will lead a session on “Creating Memorable Characters: From the Darling to the Dastardly.” Susan lives in Clayton, NC and has published six books. Her genre/niche is small town romance for women over 40.

Also, Arlene S. Bice, author of Ghosts Along the Border, and a dozen+ non-fiction books, will lead “Writing Memoirs: Dos/Don’ts/Tips/Advice.” Arlene facilitates memoir writing workshops, leads three writing groups and hosts Poetry in Nature afternoons. She is an award-winning artist who lives in South Hill, Virginia with her psychic cat Mz Lizzie, and drives to Raleigh, NC to attend regular meetings of the Triangle Association for Freelancers.

The cost for this workshop is $25 per person, and seating is limited. For a registration form, email Payment and registration form must be received by March 15, 2020.


Pamlico Writers’ Group Conference

April 3-4, 2020

This event is the Pamlico Writers’ Group’s annual conference and the second “Heart of Pamlico Poet Laureate competition.” Held at the Turnage Theatre, 150 W Main Street, Washington, NC. See flyer and contact information here.


Clayton Writers’ Guild Meeting


The Clayton Writer’s Guild, aka Writers of Rohan, hosts a private group on Facebook. Join the group to see meetings coming up in  Clayton, NC. Most recently, the group met on January 23, 2020. The group’s facilitator is Alison Hendrix, email is


Sources: Cindy Brookshire (Johnston County Writers Guild), event announcements, Franklin County Arts Council, and Wayne Quigley (Murder We Write)

Ed. Note: Originally published January 17, 2020. Updated January 29 with one new event, already-passed events were revised with future dates as available. Updated again on March 13 with cancellation notice but article date not updated.


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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.