Marketing Your Book, with Kathy Izard
Tuesday, October 19, 6:00 p.m., Virtual via Zoom

Uneasy Women: Writing Feminist Southern Gothic Fiction, with Beth Gilstrap
Thursday, October 21, 6:00 p.m., Studio Two

Register here!

Next Week, October 20 & 21: Two Events

Southern Gothic Fiction with Beth Gilstrap

Wednesday, October 20, 6 p.m. A Wednesdays@Lit conversation on southern gothic fiction with Beth Gilstrap, who will also read from her new collection, Deadheading and Other Stories, winner of the Red Hen Press Women's Prose Award. In person — Charlotte Lit's Studio Two. Free, registration required.

Thursday, October 21: Workshop with Beth Gilstrap
Uneasy Women: Writing Feminist Southern Gothic Fiction

6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Studio Two
$45 members, $55 non-membersMore Info / Register


Proof of Covid vaccination is required to attend any in-person Charlotte Lit events — Wednesdays@Lit, classes, readings, and open studio. After you register, email a snap of your vaccination card to

Guest Blogger: Kathy Izard

Five Steps Every Author Needs to Take Before Finishing a Manuscript

By Kathy Izard

In 2016, after six years of writing, I finally finished my first manuscript. I truly believed that writing a book was the most difficult part of becoming an author. No one told me selling a book is tougher than writing one.

It is almost as if I believed, “If I write it, they will come.” Jane Austen didn’t use Instagram or Facebook or an author’s website. Harper Lee didn’t do interviews much less podcasts. Couldn’t I just be an introverted literary hermit and sell books? Unfortunately, not in today’s world.

Author Joanne Kraft said, “Not all marketing people are writers, but all writers must learn to be marketers.”

The average self-published manuscript only sells around 250 copies over the lifetime of the book. Even a traditionally published book only sells an average of 3,000 copies because publishers rely on the authors to do their own marketing. If you have written a book proposal, you know that the majority of that document describes how you, the author, will market your book.

That starts with understanding how to help readers find you and showing up in the world as the author you want to become. Before you even write that last perfect sentence, every writer needs to:

  • Invest in an Author Headshot—study the back cover of books you like to read and create a similar professional photo that makes you look approachable to your potential readers.
  • Write your Author Bio—create a summary of your professional qualifications or writing experience that let readers know why they can trust you as an author. Read author bios on your favorite genre and create in a similar style.
  • Buy your author domain name—get your name registered so you can create a simple website where readers can learn more about you.
  • Create an Author Landing page—sites such as Squarespace or Wix make it easy for you to use your domain name and have at least one page with your bio, headshot, and information about your writing or potential titles
  • Create one author social media channel (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) where you will begin engaging your potential readers. This should be separate from your personal accounts or turn your personal account into your author account to begin posting about subjects related to your genre.

With a professional-looking author presence, you will be ready for readers (and agents and publishers) to discover you even before your story is finished.

Share this post from our blog, Litmosphere.

Kathy Izard is an award-winning author, speaker and changemaker. In the past five years, she has published four books three ways in two languages selling over 30,000 copies. Kathy believes we all have a story worth telling and loves helping writers find the courage to put their words in the world. Her new memoir The Last Ordinary Hour is available in paperback, Kindle and Audiobook. Learn more:

MASTER MARKETING WITH KATHY: Join Kathy for Marketing Your Book, October 16, 6-8 p.m. via Zoome. Don't wait until after your book is published to find your readers. Whether you are planning to self-publish or you already have a book contract, today’s authors need to know how to market their own books.  More info and registration here.

Free Events! Registration Open


Oct. 20: Beth Gilstrap: "Deadheading" Book Release - Register
Nov. 10: Joseph Bathanti & Friends: Writing 9/11 - Register

Dec. 3: Reginald Dwayne Betts: at Midwood Int'l Center Auditorium - Register

Nov. 5: Lola Haskins - Register
Feb. 4, 2022: Jessica Jacobs - Register
Mar. 25, 2022: Stuart Dischell - Register
Jun. 3, 2022: Laure-Anne Bosselaar - Register

Note: Proof of Covid vaccination is required to attend in-person Charlotte Lit events. After you register, email a snap of your vaccination card to

Writers/South Awards

Judge Spotlight: Tara Marshall — Flash

Tara Campbell is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, and fiction co-editor at Barrelhouse. She received her MFA from American University, and teaches creative writing at American University, The Writer’s Center, Barrelhouse, Politics & Prose, Catapult, and The National Gallery of Art. Her work has earned multiple fellowships and awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Previous publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Wigleaf, Jellyfish Review, Booth, Strange Horizons, and CRAFT Literary. Campbell is also the author of a novel, TreeVolution, and four collections: Circe’s Bicycle, Midnight at the Organporium, Political AF: A Rage Collection, and Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection. Connect with her at or on Twitter: @TaraCampbellCom or IG: @thetreevolution.
• $10,000 in total prizes
• $1,500 1st / $500 2nd / $250 3rd
• Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and flash
• Enter by December 1. Guidelines here
A SHOUT-OUT TO CHARLOTTE RESIDENTS: We want to read your writing! Our Writers/South Awards are for residents (current and past) of NC and its contiguous states — and that means you! Don't skip your hometown contest…especially with $10,000 in total prizes, one of the biggest in the nation for single works. Enter your best by December 1.

October Classes!


Channeling for Writers
With Jennifer Halls

Thursday, October 28, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Studio Two
$45 members, $55 non-membersSix spaces left • More Info / Register


The Flesh Made Word: Writing Allegory
With George Hovis

2 Sessions: Thursday, October 26 & November 2, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Virtual via Zoom
$90 members, $110 non-membersMore Info / Register


Marketing Your Book
With Kathy Izard

Tuesday, October 19, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Virtual via Zoom
$45 members, $55 non-membersRegister


Writing the Personal Essay
With Amy Paturel

4 weeks Asynchronous: October 24 – November 20, Virtual via Wet Ink and Zoom
$300 members; $375 non-members (includes one-year Charlotte Lit General Membership)More Info / Register

Tuesdays: Pen to Paper

Every Tuesday we gather on Zoom for a writing prompt, community writing time, and sharing — Led by Meg Rich, Kathie Collins, or Paul Reali — 9:30-10:30 a.m. Always free! Register for any session here to get the week's link.

What's What

Things We Like This Week

WHAT TO POD: Charlotte Readers Podcast: In episode 252, host Landis Wade visits with L.C. Fiore, author of Coyote Loop, a novel of a father, his estranged teenage daughter, and the great recession of 2008. When John Ganzi's daughter, Jeanie, unexpectedly moves in with him, he takes this as an opportunity to one-up his absent father and become a real dad. They make an unusual pair, but when tragedy strikes, they must work together to resolve their differences, or risk losing everything.
WHAT TO BLOG: Storied Charlotte this week is about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's upcoming Verse & Vino event.


Doris Betts Fiction Prize, sponsored by the NC Writers' Network, awards $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review to a short story under 6,000 words. The final judge is Monique Truong. Deadline is October 31. Info
Ruth Moose Flash Fiction Contest, from Charlotte Writers Club. Stories up to 500 words. $15 CWC members, $20 non-members. Deadline October 19Info
CWC North & Mooresville Arts Ekphrastic Exhibit 2: Seeking poets and artists to participate in an ekphrastic art exhibit. Eight works of art will be featured along with sixteen poets’ interpretations at a reception on June 10, 2022, at the Mooresville Arts Gallery. This is a two-part judged, non-compensatory exhibit open to members of CWC and poets in the Carolinas. Deadline October 20. Info
Press 53 Award for Short Fiction: For an outstanding, unpublished collection of stories. First Prize: $1,000 Advance, publication (softcover and hardcover), 50 copies. Deadline: December 31. Info
And don't forget: Charlotte Lit's Writers/South Awards. $10,000 in prizes, deadline December 1. Info

More Lit Arts Action


November 19- 21: Fall Conference, Sheraton Imperial in Durham-RTP — and available as a livestream so that writers can attend from home. More than 20 classes on the craft and business of writing, spread across five sessions in two days, plus three multi-session Master Classes, a Manuscript Mart and a Critique Service, and three general-session panel discussions: “From Lore to Lit and Back Again,” with the NC Folklife Institute; “Community Journalism,” sponsored by PEN America; and the ever-popular (and self-explanatory) “Agents & Editors.” Info


Verse & Vino: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s signature annual fundraiser is a celebration of reading, writing and the joy of libraries – shared with a community of readers and New York Times best-selling authors. This year: Janet Evanovich, Alka Joshi, Heather Morris, Alex Michaelides, Bryant Terry, and debut author Wanda Morris. November 4, 7 p.m.

Flatiron Writers Room in Asheville hosts a number of great classes, some in person and some online. Check out Manipulating Time, November 14, with Tessa Fontaine; and Scrivener Essentials with Charlotte Lit's Paul Reali, October 16; Creating Audiobooks with Landis Wade, October 20. Info


Thu. October 14, 7:00 p.m. — Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, virtual reading and conversation.

Tue. October 19, 6:30 p.m. — Monthly Meeting via Zoom. This month: Liam Callanan: Tell it like it is: Crafting Effective Dialogue

October 22 (and every 4th Friday) — LIVE Open Mic Night for CWC Members to read their work, 6:45 - 9 p.m. Mug's Coffee, 5126 Park Road, Charlotte.


CHARLOTTE LIT'S MISSION is to celebrate the literary arts by educating and engaging writers and readers through classes, conversations, and community.

Charlotte Lit is a community, open to all. Through our programming and practices, we consciously reach out to non-majority and under-represented groups and individuals.

Charlotte Lit's Statement of Inclusivity, adopted by our Board of Directors

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Charlotte Lit is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations to Charlotte Lit are tax deductible. We are member-supported. Become a member today!

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