Pamlico Writers’ Group

Writing from the heart of the Pamlico

To honor the memory of its founder, poet Jerry Cuthrell, The Pamlico Writers’ Group is pleased to announce its first ever search for a Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate to represent Eastern North Carolina.

The Pamlico Writers’ Group is a writers’ organization with a membership of approximately seventy-five writers, and is an affiliate of The Arts of the Pamlico which is part of the state designated regional arts council, Beaufort County Arts Council, dba Arts of the Pamlico. The arts council serves two Tier (1) counties-Beaufort and Hyde. Arts of the Pamlico is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1972 whose mission is to support the arts throughout Beaufort County.  It is one of the longest operating arts councils in the state.

The Pamlico Writers’ Group, an affiliate of the Arts of the Pamlico, was founded in 1973 and is located in Washington, North Carolina. Since the group’s inception, it has been committed to providing writers with training tools and resources through its critique groups, annual conferences, and workshops

The Pamlico Writers’ Group Poet Laureate Search Committee has determined that the successful candidate for poet laureate will be an accomplished poet who has resided in Eastern North Carolina (east of the I 95 corridor) for a minimum of one (1) year. The candidate will be one who has advocated for poetry as a means to inspire, inform, and entertain its people, and is dedicated to continuing to do so. The Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate will serve as the ambassador of Eastern North Carolina’s vibrant literary life, promoting its poetic community, and celebrating the written word in North Carolina, always mindful of the fact that poetry matters.

Objectives of the Poet Laureate Program

  • To promote poetry as a form of communication having value in this ever- changing world, most especially in the lives of Eastern North Carolina residents

  • To inspire an emerging generation of poets and writers

  • To encourage the reading and writing of poetry

  • To promote poetry as a literary genre that has deep roots among people of all ages and cultures

Suggested Roles of the Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate

  • Promote reading, understanding, and writing of poetry

  • Develop working relationships among other poets, writers, and teachers

  • Participate in the annual Pamlico Writers’ Conference on March 23-24, 2018

  • Plan and teach an introductory workshop on poetry to interested members of the public

  • Broadcast a poetry program through television or radio showcasing local poets and their work

  • Make use of social media (blog, web site, twitter) to reach out to prospective poets

  • Present in Eastern Carolina schools to complement the language arts curriculum

  • Present his or her original poetry at public events (writing conferences, swearing in ceremonies, holiday celebrations, graduations , and the like)

Terms of Service

  • The term of The Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate is two (2) years. The poet laureate may apply for a second term but shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms. In the event that the poet laureate is unable to complete his/her term, an interim poet laureate may be appointed by the search committee to complete the term. The Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate position is a position with a cash award of $1,000 and a complimentary artist membership in the Arts of the Pamlico for one year.


  • To be considered, a candidate must be at least 21 years of age, a poet and resident of Eastern North Carolina for a minimum of one (1) year, and must spend most of his/her time in-state for the duration of the service.

  • Interested poets must be available and willing to develop poetry-related activities such as those outlined in the section Suggested Roles of the Poet Laureate

Attributes the ideal candidate will possess

  • A background in a variety of poetry experiences such as (writing, publishing, critiquing, attending courses, public readings, and the like)

  • A comfort level in public speaking

  • Ability and willingness to advance poetry in the public domain, and to participate in various public gatherings and educational settings throughout his/her term


  • $1,000 cash

  • A complimentary artist membership in The Arts of the Pamlico for the term of service

Application Process

All candidates must submit a copy of the following:

  • A completed application form available on the Pamlico Writers’ Group website

  • A brief statement (no more than 500 words)regarding how the poet intends to approach the scope of the position and its objectives

  • A sample of 3-5 poems (published or not, with no identifying information)

  • Two(2) personal references (include e-mail and phone)

  • All finalists will make themselves available for an interview if the selection committee contacts them.


  • Non-members--An entry fee of $35.00 which will cover a $10 reading fee and $25 membership for one year in PWG.

  • Current PWG members--$10 reading fee only

Submission Information:

This is a blind competition. There should be no identifying information on the poetry submissions. No names.

All materials are to be uploaded electronically on the Pamlico Writers’ Group website through Submittable. The application period begins on September 15, 2017. All applications must be received no later than December 15, 2017 at 5 pm. Submissions will not be returned.

The successful candidate’s submissions will be published in the Pamlico Writers’ Group annual anthology.

Review of all candidates’ applications and notification to the finalists will take place by January 15, 2018.

The Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate will be announced on February 3, 2018 at a public presentation among finalists at the historic Turnage Theater in Washington, NC.

For further information or questions visit the PWG website: or sign up using the following links:

Poet Laureate application for Members

Poet Laureate application for Non-members

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