Good chocolate for a good cause, and an opportunity for area writers

by Mark Burger

The UNC School of the Arts has a sweet treat in store next Wednesday, Oct. 20: The Fifth Annual Chocolate Festival, in which proceeds will benefit the North Carolina Triad Affiliate of the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

This self-explanatory (to say nothing of mouth-watering) event is a tasty way to help a good cause. Last year’s festival raised more than $2,200 in the fight against breast cancer.

The festival will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Eisenberg Social Hall, located on the lower level of the Hanes Student Commons on the UNCSA campus (1533 S Main St., Winston- Salem).

Ticketholders will be allowed to choose six chocolate items from the wide variety of sweet treats on display. Never mind counting calories; if you’re a chocolate maven, this is undoubtedly the event for you!

Tickets are $10 general admission, as well as for faculty and stuff of area colleges and universities; $7 for area college and university students (with valid ID). Raffle tickets are an additional $1. Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event, or can be purchased in advance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Room 334 of the College Life Office, also located in the Hanes Student Commons.

UNCSA students have been a major component of the festival, helping to solicit donations, promote the event, sell tickets, decorate and set up for the event, and supervising the obligatory post-event clean-up.

For more information about this event, contact Stacey Baisden, the College Life Program coordinator, at or call 336.770.3282. For the full run-down on all the goings-on at UNCSA, visit the official website:

The Winston-Salem Writers will present Text-to-Stage, a 10-minute play competition that encourages creativity and innovation among area writers looking for a fun challenge.

Described as “a streak of theatrical lightning,” the 10-Minute Plays event has been ongoing for the better part of three decades, with such notables as David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow), Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and the late August Wilson (Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) — Pulitzer Prize winners all — having written in the 10-minute form. 10-Minute Plays has also generated over 25 million hits on the web.

Writer/filmmaker Nathan Ross Freeman, the artistic director of Authoring Action and a Winston-Salem Writers board member, will host a free workshop regarding the event from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 23) at Reynolda Manor Library (2839 Fairlawn Drive, Winston-Salem).

During this workshop, which is titled Text to Script in 10 Minutes, Freeman will offer an overview of the competition, discuss the contest rules and answer any questions. As a playwright and screenwriter himself, Freeman knows a few things about the written word. (In addition, he originally hails from Philadelphia, so he and I have shared a few laughs over the years about our old hometown!) Admission to the workshop is free but seating is limited. To reserve a space, send an e-mail request to Entries can be adapted from original fiction or be original plays, and should be timed to be read in 10 minutes (hence the event’s name). Winners will have their entries read in front of an audience and published on the Winston- Salem Writers website, and will be eligible for a cash prize.

Winston-Salem Writers is an incorporated, non-profit association of writers, poets and those who support and practice the art and craft of writing right here in the City of the Arts. The organization presents an ongoing series of events and activities that encourage their members to grow in their craft and network with other writers and arts groups throughout the city and the surrounding area. Winston-Salem Writers strives to promote and support the community trust by identifying ways its members can be of assistance to educational, cultural and economic-development initiatives.

Submission requirements and the competition deadline will be posted soon on the Winston-Salem Writers official website: