The Creative Writing Program is more than just a list of requirements or a roster of faculty and graduates. It is in fact a community, a gathering of people who take serious pleasure in writing. The creative writers at Carolina enjoy one another's company in and out of the classroom; there are a number of extracurricular activities that give them a chance to work on literary publications and to interact with writers from beyond the campus. These include:
Students interested in first‑hand experience with literary editing and publishing often work on the editorial staff of the Cellar Door (UNC's undergraduate literary magazinehttp://studentorgs.unc.edu/thedoor/), the Carolina Quarterly (a journal of national and international scope, published in the Department of English and Comparative Literature www.thecarolinaquarterly.com/), and The Charles Carter. Others more interested in journalistic experience sometimes work for The Daily Tar Heel, which has been the University's daily newspaper for over a century (www.dailytarheel.com/). There are many other on‑campus publications looking for editorial staff and writers, and Chapel Hill has always had a lively off‑campus magazine scene, from Contempo in the 1930s toLillabulero inthe 1960s to the zines of the 1990s.
The Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence Program. Established in 1993 by Allen and Musette Morgan, and currently sustained by the children of Frank B. Hanes, this program brings eminent writers to campus to visit courses, meet with students and faculty, and give public readings, lectures, or symposia. Distinguished guests so far have included Shelby Foote, Annie Dillard, Beth Henley, Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove, Richard Ford, Richard Wilbur, John Edgar Wideman, Tobias Wolff, Calvin Trillin, Alice Walker, Joan Didion, Tim O’Brien, Alice McDermott, Mark Strand and Edward P. Jones.
The Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture. Funded by John and Jessica Skipper and Ben Jones, this prize is awarded by a committee of writers and scholars to recognize a lifetime of achievement in the literary arts. Recipients have included Tom Wolfe, Larry Brown, Elizabeth Spencer, Pat Conroy, Ellen Gilchrist, Fred Chappell, George Garrett, Reynolds Price and Robert Morgan.
The Blanche Armfield Poetry Series. Endowed by Miss Armfield, a 1925 alumna of the University, this annual reading brings at least one prominent American poet to the English Department for a reading each year. Readers in the past twenty years have included Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Andrew Hudgins, Kate Daniels, Rodney Jones, Marilyn Nelson, Mark Jarman, C. K. Williams, Mark Doty, and Claudia Emerson.
In addition, there are many other readings by visiting writers to the department, the University, and the Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area, whose thriving literary scene features first-rate bookstores, active organizations like the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and many other colleges with their own writing programs and reading series.