Do you long to write, but just can’t seem to work it into your life? Do your writing resolutions last about as long as your New Year’s resolutions to go to the gym? Whip your atrophied writing muscles into shape this summer with this generative class for beginning or experienced fiction and creative nonfiction writers. We’ll do lots of writing in class, focus on practical ways to make writing an integral part of your life, and maybe even attend a community literary event for inspiration—whatever it takes to get words on the page. Register here: Great Smokies Writing Program

Gearing Up For AWP

by Heather Newton on March 28, 2016

I think AWP (annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs) will be chill this year. I don’t have a new book out so I don’t have to self-promote. I have an agent, so I don’t have to corner agents in the ladies’ room and push sample pages under the stall door. I’m not famous, so I don’t have to don dark glasses and act put-upon. I’m a 52 year old woman at whom no one is looking (power of invisibility) so I don’t have to spend money on new clothes. I’m meeting up with friends from LA so I’m bound to get a taste of the town. In looking at the panels I’m interested in, they fall into a few categories, all passions of mine: 1) diversity (how to write diverse characters and teach diverse students); 2) how to better teach creative writing; and 3) community-based writing programs.  Oh, and at least one on adapting novels to screen because it is California and dreamin’ is free. Last but not least, I’m staying in a nice hotel, something you other busy moms out there will appreciate. To borrow a cliche, it’s all good. See y’all in LA.

The Case Against Compartmentalization in Creating Your Writing Life

March 26, 2016

I’m a writer and a lawyer and a mother and wife and a person of faith. For many years, I believed that the best way to make time for all of these important aspects of my life–especially the writing–was to compartmentalize, setting up rigid mental walls to designate the time and energy I would allot […]

Read the full article →

Under the Mercy Trees

February 1, 2016

Praise for Under The Mercy Trees, winner of the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, SIBA Okra Pick, Women’s National Book Association Great Group Reads Selection: From Publishers Weekly Newton delivers a stirring debut novel told from the perspectives of four central characters embroiled in a family drama that spans generations and is riddled with […]

Read the full article →

Legal Lessons for North Carolina Teachers

August 11, 2015

  For many years, I have represented North Carolina educators as they try to perform their jobs with diminishing resources, at times without the support they deserve from administration and their elected representatives. As we enter a new school year, here are my tips to educators for how to protect their employment while providing high-quality […]

Read the full article →

September Is The Literary-est Month!

September 9, 2014

Two more literary events I hope you’ll join me for in Asheville this month: On September 21st at 3 p.m., I’ll be reading with other members of the Great Smokies Writing Program faculty at Malaprop’s as part of the Writers At Home Series.  Haven’t decided what to read yet. Maybe something from my new novel […]

Read the full article →

Join Me For Back-To-Back Literary Events in the Mountains, September 6-7, 2014

August 18, 2014

I’ll be reading from and discussing Under The Mercy Trees and new work at two events the weekend of September 6th and 7th. On Saturday the 6th, join me at the Mountain Literary Festival in Burnsville for sessions at 10:45 and 2:00 and a book signing at noon.  While you’re there, enjoy readings, workshops and […]

Read the full article →

Listen to “Things Summoned” Courtesy of The Drum–A Literary Magazine for Your Ears

December 18, 2013

My short story, “Things Summoned,” is featured in the December 2013 issue of The Drum.  You can download and listen to me read it here: http://www.drumlitmag.com/index.php?page=contributors&display=816  This story is one of a dozen linked stories in a collection I’ve written, set on the campus of a boarding school in the north Georgia mountains in 1969-70.  […]

Read the full article →

Join Me For a “Such A Character” Workshop Starting February 18, 2014

November 6, 2013

What if I told you this: When my parents married in 1958, my father was French. He signed his name “Paien”  and gave my mother a set of French conversation records she can still quote from today:  “Je m’appelle Jean LeCarpentier mais je ne suis pas carpentier, ha ha ha.”  One Sunday they drove from […]

Read the full article →

Join Me This Summer for “Sustaining Your Writing Life”

May 7, 2013

Join me this summer for “Sustaining Your Writing Life,” a five-week workshop I’ll be teaching for the Great Smokies Writing Program on Monday evenings 6-8:30 starting June 3rd (location TBA). Do you long to write, but just can’t seem to work it into your life? Do your writing resolutions last about as long as your […]

Read the full article →