A Writer’s Inspiration

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Online Exclusives, People

Local writer Pat Fontana wins a scholarship to attend the 20th Annual San Francisco Writers Conference.

Local writer Pat Fontana was awarded the Nina Amir 2024 Scholarship for Nonfiction Writers to attend the San Francisco Writers Conference. Fontana received the scholarship based on her mission-based, change-oriented work compiling and retelling stories about Topsail Island’s Ocean City.

Fontana is a freelance writer who is researching and writing a book about Ocean City, telling the stories of those individuals who found an oasis on a stretch of undeveloped land on Topsail Island. Ocean City was established as an interracial collaboration between a white lawyer and his Black client in the Jim Crow era of 1940s North Carolina, defying societal norms and legal barriers. The book, An Oasis Between Invisible Lines, tells the stories of the individuals and families who experienced the challenges and joys of the oasis that was (and still is) Ocean City.

It is told so the past is not forgotten and to serve as inspiration for a new mission of change going forward.

Pat Fontana NC

“Everyone I’ve spoken with has expressed their appreciation that I’m capturing their stories,” Fontana says. “However, I am the one who is so appreciative of the opportunity to get to know them and learn so much about their experiences.”

The 20th Annual San Francisco Writers Conference, held in February 2024, encompassed four days of workshops and networking, including a one-on-one meeting with an acquiring editor and agent.

“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate, especially since the scholarship I received was based on the quality of my writing,” Fontana says. “It was an amazing experience.”

Fontana is celebrating her tenth year in business as a freelance writer. Her business, WordsWorking, provides writing, editing and training for other businesses and nonprofit organizations to help them improve their internal communications and customer communications. She is a frequent contributor to Topsail Magazine as well as several other publications and business blogs.

About the author

Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor