I love James River Writers.
I serve on the board of directors of this 450-member community-based non-profit in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Supported by volunteers, government grants, foundations, corporate partners, and the generosity of our members, we serve as central Virginia’s literary hub, and we welcome everyone who loves the written word.
The highlight of our year is our annual conference, held every October. Last year, in 2017, we hosted a sold-out crowd of more than 350 writers, editors, agents, and booksellers and I had the opportunity to moderate three panels:
- Paths to Publication
- Bad Words vs. Strong Language
- What’s Your Platform?
Every month, January through September, we host “the Writing Show” where authors and other literary professionals discuss craft and the business of writing. Below is a glimpse of this year’s Writing Show schedule, a program organized by friends of mine, Kris Spisak and Karen Chase. As chair of the communications committee for James River Writers, I “live tweet” this event on Twitter. Join me!
2018 Writing Show Schedule:
- January 31 – A 2018 Creative Plan: Scheduling, Motivating, & Organizing Your Writing Life
- February 28 – Time Travel: Managing time inside sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, or historical fiction
- March 28 – Breaking into Anthologies
- April 25 – Building a Publishing Resume: How Beginning Authors Can Secure Fellowships, Awards, & Prizes
- May 30 – What I Wish I Knew Before My First Book
- June 27 – Sensitivity Readers: The Benefits of Having One or Being One
- July 25 – The Power of Word Choice: An Editorial Critique & Member Reading Opportunity
- August 29 – Tip Sheets: Why You Need to Build Your Own Sales & Marketing Plan
- September 26 – Hybrid Authorship: Traditional Publishing, Indie Publishing, and How They Can Work Together
We also host Master Classes throughout the year, like this one, “The Business of Querying,” where an industry expert teaches writers how to craft a killer query letter, shares best practices when approaching agents online or at a conference, and explains methods of interpreting feedback received while querying.
JRW partners with The Poe Museum to host Literary Salons which are intimate gatherings of artists and creatives across multiple disciplines where topics of discussion always inspire and provoke thought. The Poe Museum, located in the “Old Stone House,” Richmond’s oldest home, is dedicated to the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe and boasts the most comprehensive collection of Poe artifacts in the world. We host our Lit Salons at the Patrick Henry Pub in the pre-Civil war Patrick Henry Inn, a block from St. John’s Church, the site of Patrick Henry’s famous speech in support of the Revolutionary War, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
On Thursdays at Writers Farmhouse, our weekly writing group, writers bring laptops and other writing paraphernalia then hang out and get words on the page.
We host Writers Wednesday at Ardent Craft Ales, an award-winning local craft brewery in historic Scott’s Addition, bringing together authors of every genre to laugh, talk, and unwind after a long day of writing.
We do much more over the course of the year, including partnering with Richmond magazine to host writing contests and awards including:
- Best Unpublished Novel Contest
- Best Self-published Novel Contest
- Shann Palmer Poetry Contest
- Emyl Jenkins Award
Are you a member of a local community?
What do you love?