Laine Cunningham

Laine’s work has won multiple national awards, including the Hackney Literary Award for $5,000 and the James Jones Literary Society fellowship for $6,000. In past years, the Hackney Award was received by Horton Foote and William Styron, placing Laine in the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. Break the Bow was shortlisted for the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner novel award. Laine has received additional fellowships totaling $6,250 and residency slots from the Jerome Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the New York Mills Cultural Center, Wildacres Center for the Humanities, the ecumenical Blowing Rock Convention Center, and regional arts councils in different states. For several years she has chaired the advisory board for The Blotter, one of the few literary magazines to still have a monthly print circulation of 8,500 copies. The magazine will soon go to 10,000 copies as it enters new markets in the Midwest. The Blotter also administers The Laine Cunningham Novel Contest, now entering its fifth year. The competition accepts book-length fiction, including short story collections, and judges all entries according to genre, market worthiness, and writing quality. Cash prizes for first through third place total $1,750. Laine is the final judge. Her media engagements as an author and a publishing consultant include First for Women, CNN’s Money,,, Media Bistro, dozens of regional papers including Awareness in Southern California, The Sydney Morning Herald, Die Presse (Austria’s largest daily newspaper), and Insight (Australia’s largest spiritual magazine). During national and regional television and radio show bookings in three countries, she discussed the native perspective on the swine flu pandemic, the true secret of success based on the Hawaiian Huna minds, different cultural perspectives on love and relationships, and women’s issues like empowerment, stress reduction, and living a meaningful life. For twenty years she has worked as a publishing consultant. Through her company, Writer’s Resource, she helps fiction and nonfiction authors develop, write, revise and pitch their books to agents and publishers. In addition to ghostwriting, rewriting and editing services, she provides in-depth assistance with query letters and book proposals. Her opinion has been sought by national and international media on issues ranging from The Oprah Effect to the end of the Harry Potter series and Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter. She conducts writing and marketing sessions for authors through a variety of programs. She has presented for The Loft, the nation’s largest independent literary center; the National Writers Union; The Writer’s Workshop in Asheville, NC; the North Carolina Writer’s Network; regional writers’ conferences; elementary and high schools; and independent freelance organizations. Her spiritual and cultural programs have been booked by the City of Sacramento, CA, Guilford College, NC, First Woman Foundation at White Earth Reservation, ND, Cherokee Full Circle in NC, Oak Park Multicultural Festival in CA, regional libraries and conferences, interfaith churches, independent spiritual groups, and elementary and high schools in several states. All of Laine’s works utilize the core components of thrillers while keeping a strong focus on the elements that appeal to women. Their opening pace is strong enough to propel readers into the story while providing the character development that links readers to characters…and characters to each other. In Message Stick, a biracial Australian Aborigine is stalked across the outback by the shaman who killed his friend. The Hackney Literary Award committee called Message Stick “one of the best novels in ten years.” To boost the novel’s platform, Laine created a collection of essays that tie into traditional Aboriginal stories. Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia teaches readers that the dreaming is a timeless energy that can address modern issues with love and relationships, friendship and community, illness and joy. Her second novel, He Drinks Poison, pits FBI agent Priya Conlin-Kumar against a serial rapist and a serial killer working the same city. Visions from The Ramayana and a passionate love relationship provide her with the power of the goddess Kali. The justice Priya metes out satisfies both the laws of man and spiritual laws. Laine currently resides in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she is drafting a novel called Light and Purple Blooms.