Kathie Collins & Paul Reali

A Welcome from Charlotte Lit’s Co-Founders

When we conceived Charlotte Lit in the fall of 2015, we had ambitious plans for providing a hub for area writers, becoming a well-regarded creative writing center, and elevating the literary arts in our home city. Charlotte’s arts scene seemed to have a great big hole in its center, and we were determined to fill it with words. Little did we know how much time that meant we’d spend each week over the next couple of years moving furniture around to transform our office into a classroom and back again.

Six years later, we’ve gained a dedicated writing studio, doubled our staff, received operational support from the city and state, and cultivated a community that includes hundreds of members, students, and supporters. As big as our early dreams were, however, what we didn’t imagine were the close friendships we would form as we sat around the workshop table wrestling with each other’s manuscripts. Nor did we imagine that one of those friends would step forward with the idea and financial support for putting Charlotte Lit on the Southeast’s literary map through a major writing contest and journal. What you now hold in your hands is a result of that writer’s generosity and belief in the transformative power of language.

Enormous gratitude goes to our anonymous benefactor, without whom we’d be years from achieving the kind of regional reach Litmosphere has brought our young organization. Thanks also to journal editor Michael Dowdy, whose experience and insight made him the perfect partner for our inaugural Lit/South Awards; to the 450 writers who entrusted us with their submissions; to our 225+ members, whose financial support and goodwill enable our work in the studio and in the community; to our dedicated faculty, who have tutored us in the art and craft of good writing and encouraged the development of our unique voices; and to the hundreds of writers who continue to come to Charlotte Lit to improve their craft. Finally, huge thanks to our judges—Ron, Nickole, Jessica, Stephanie, and Tara—who believed in our didn’t-yet-exist concept and lent us their credibility.

Wherever you are in the Southeast––or beyond—we invite you to sit a spell around our workshop table, here in Charlotte or virtually. We’re already lining up a fantastic slate of classes and programs for the 2022-2023 season. Let us save you a seat!

Kathie Collins & Paul Reali

Charlotte, NC