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1 March 2016




This year's issues of the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review celebrate twenty-five years of NCLR and writing in North Carolina. Opening this special issue is an interview with the editor, Margaret Bauer, who reflects on how NCLR has grown over the past quarter century and the importance of writing in North Carolina. Bauer remarks, "I haven't actually counted but would not be surprised to find that North Carolina has more writers than any other state, and I know that many of the best writers in the country (in a variety of genres) have North Carolina connections. Of course, many of the writers here are not originally from here, and many North Carolina writers have not stayed here. But North Carolina continues to inspire those who have left to live and work elsewhere." Bauer also announces in the introduction to the issue that, inspired by twenty-five years of success, NCLR has begun working with the ECU Foundation on a capital campaign with the goal of raising a two million dollar endowment that would ensure the next twenty-five years of publication.


Stories and books reviewed in the 2016 online issue showcase the talent of North Carolina writers and their commitment to their craft. Joanne Joy, in her review of Amazing Place: What North Carolina Means to Writers, edited by Marianne Gingher, explains how North Carolina influences and inspires writers. Unique in this issue is Dr. Brian Glover's essay on how he uses NCLR in his short story class at ECU to encourage students to apply their newfound analytical skills to new stories of their own choosing, and to share their readings of these stories, many from NCLR, with their classmates. He writes, "Above all . . . students have responded to plots about family. Of all the stories NCLR has published in recent years, Leah Hampton's 'The Saint' [a Doris Betts Fiction Prize winner from the 2013 issue] with its intricate mechanisms of time, memory, and bereavement, has raised more enthusiasm than any other." He also notes how the characters in these stories with military experience resonate with students as well, given that "a significant portion [of his students] are either children and spouses of servicemen and women or active and retired soldiers, . . . [and many] have grown up in communities closely tied to the region's bases." The editor says she hopes Glover's essay will inspire other teachers to consider how NCLR might be used in their classrooms.


The online issue is independent but complementary of the forthcoming print issue. For example, the 2016 online issue includes a short excerpt from James W. Clark's interview with William S. Price, Jr., brother of the late Reynolds Price, beloved author of numerous books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction; the print issue will contain another and lengthier excerpt of the interview. Kathryn Etters Lovatt's short story, published in the online issue, received second place in the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition; the winning story by Brad Field will be published in the print issue. Similarly, several finalists in the James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition appear in this online issue. The first, second, and third-place poems, and more finalists will be published in the print issue.


NCLR has won numerous awards since it was first published in 1992, most recently, the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, which recognized NCLR for expanding to publication of online issues. These open-access issues provide the opportunity to reach a broader audience, enabling the publication to acquaint even more people with North Carolina's rich literary history, while raising awareness for and interest in the print issue. In addition, the writers and artists can promote their work in NCLR Online by linking to the journal from their websites and social media pages.


NCLR is published at East Carolina University, with additional support from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. NCLR Online 2016 is a winter supplement to the annual print issue, which is published in the summer. NCLR Online maintains the same beautiful design as the print edition, created by the journal's art director, Dana Ezzell Gay, a faculty member of Meredith College in Raleigh. To read NCLR Online and subscribe to the print issue, go to