Best Unpublished Novel Contest is open Wine Table Tuesday, a fundraiser to benefit James River Writers Fairytales, Folklore, and Stories That Endure A New Master Class: Play Before You Write Save Your gift builds community. Make a donation today.

News and Events

Wine Table Tuesday to benefit James River Writers

March 21st, 2017

Each week Maple & Pine at the Quirk Hotel (201 W. Broad Street) hosts Wine Table Tuesday from 5 to 7 PM to promote awareness and raise funds for a local or national charity. A portion of proceeds and
tips from the wine tasting on Tuesday, March 28, will support James River Writers.

Come enjoy this beautiful space, connect with other word lovers, and raise funds for a strong literary community.

Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time: 5 PM – 7 PM

Location: Maple & Pine Restaurant at the Quirk Hotel, 201 W Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23220

Price: $17 for 4 wine tastings (2-3 oz each) – a portion of proceeds and tips will benefit James River Writers.

March Master Class: Play Before You Write

February 28th, 2017

Deepening Your Story & Escaping Writer’s Block through Pre-writing

with Solveig Eggerz

Solveig Eggerz profile picDiscover the meaning or “aboutness” of your story through pre-writing. Participants will experiment with several pre-writing methods focused on protagonist, place, and conflict, experiencing how each exercise deepens the meaning of the story and paves the way to a confident first draft. Participants will come away with an understanding of the pre-writing process as well as the beginnings of a good story.

A native of Iceland, Solveig Eggerz is the author of Seal Woman, an award-winning novel informed by the selkie legend. For many years she told folk and fairy tales in schools in Alexandria, Virginia. Using a blend of told and written story, she teaches writing at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD as well as “Sharing our Stories,” a writing program for individuals emerging from difficult circumstances. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from Catholic University. Her writing has appeared in such places as The Northern Virginia Review, Delmarva Review, Palo Alto Review.

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Visual Arts Center 1812 West Main Street, Richmond, VA 23220
Price: $55 for members; $70 for non-members
Click here to register today!

Thank you to the Visual Arts Center for partnering with us on this Master Class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Writing Show: Fairytales, Folklore & Stories that Endure

February 28th, 2017

Fairytales and folklore are a part of our storytelling culture from our earliest days of childhood, yet these tales as old as time are still as relevant as ever. How can they teach us about writing stories that will endure over time? How can we borrow their themes, motifs, and characters and create them anew? How do they shed light upon who we are? This panel packed with award-winning literary talent will be sure to illuminate, educate, and inspire.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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Time:
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meet & Greet at 6:00; program starts at 6:45)

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Location:
Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street

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Price:
$12 – Members; $15 Non-members ($5 for students)

 

You might also be interested in the Thursday, March 30, Master Class with Solveig Eggerz

Play Before You Write: Deepening Your Story & Escaping Writer’s Block through Pre-writing

 

Click here to register today!

SPEAKERS

Susann Cokal
Susann Cokal profile picSusann Cokal is the author of the 2014 Printz Honor book, The Kingdom of the Little Wounds, which has been described as “Game of Thrones meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales.” She holds two PhD’s: one from Berkeley in comparative literature and one from Binghamton University in creative writing. Susann has published critical work on writers such as Jeanette Winterson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Georges Bataille and currently reviews fiction for The New York Times Book Review. She moved to Richmond in 2004 to teach creative writing and contemporary literature at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Harry Heckel
Harry Heckel profile picHarry Heckel started by writing pen and paper roleplaying games, notably for White Wolf Game Studio, before moving into novels. As Lee Lightner, he co-authored two Space Wolf novels set in the Warhammer 40K universe. He is currently half of the writing team of Jack Heckel, and under that name has written The Charming Tales series from Harper Voyager Impulse. His latest novel from Harper is The Dark Lord, a parody of epic fantasy, stuffed with geek references. He is currently writing the next book in the series, The Darker Lord, and preparing for The Darkest Lord, both scheduled for release in 2018. He also has a few independent novels under his own name and does freelance work for roleplaying, board game and miniature wargame companies. He lives in central Virginia with his wife, daughter and two cats. He can be found at www.harryheckel.com and www.jackheckel.com.

Solveig Eggerz

Solveig Eggerz profile picSolveig Eggerz, a native of Iceland, is the author of Seal Woman, an award-winning novel informed by the selkie legend. For many years she told folk and fairy tales in schools in Alexandria, Virginia. Using a blend of told and written story, she teaches writing at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD as well as “Sharing our Stories,” a writing program for individuals emerging from difficult circumstances. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from Catholic University. Her writing has appeared in such places as The Northern Virginia Review, Delmarva Review, Palo Alto Review.

MODERATOR

Douglas Jones 
Douglas Jones profile picDouglas Jones has written and seen produced more than forty plays and screenplays. BBC’s Bernard Mayes cited Jones’s “ability to write in ways which are appealing to the general population without condescension, and focus on the essentials without sugaring the pill.” A Richmond News-Leader critic said Jones’s work for young audiences “has a fascination with the infinite expressiveness and flexibility of the English language that rivals Sesame Street.” And J. Christie noted that Jones’s plays combine “the rhythms of Gilbert and Sullivan, references and rhymes from countless familiar tales, and a bit of the late Jim Henson’s gift for finding the inner voices of children.”

Recent projects include a one-act play Frankenstein Lives!, which aired on Virginia’s PBS stations, and four films commissioned by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation for its 400th Anniversary (currently playing at the Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center).

James River Writers is grateful for the following sponsorship for the March Writing Show

 

 

2017 Annual Writers Conference – Oct 14-15, 2017

February 21st, 2017

JRW Conference logo

Since 2003, the James River Writers Conference has attracted prize-winning authors and highly regarded editors and agents from around the country to share their wisdom about writing and publishing.

More than 300 people attend this multi-day event, known for its inspiring, collegial atmosphere and Southern hospitality.

General Sessions
Saturday, October 14 – Sunday, October 15, 2017
at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA
Pre-Conference Master Classes
Friday, October 13, 2017
James River Writers kicks off our conference with Pre-Conference Master Classes. Absorb the wisdom of the experts and gain hands-on experience, whether you want to discover that perfect angle to get published or explore nuances of your craft.

 

 

Join us October 14-15, 2017 for our 15th annual conference.
Early-bird registration will open soon.

 

 

Click here to view pictures from some of our previous James River Writers Conferences

 

The Best Unpublished Novel Contest is open for submissions!

January 25th, 2017

Best Unpublished Novel Contest

Best Unpublished Novel Contest is open for submissions

The Best Unpublished Novel Contest is a partnership between James River Writers and Richmond magazine.

The contest is part of a three-year sequence with the Best Self-Published Novel Contest and the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest.

The contest is open for submissions January 1 through March 31, 2017

Contest Overview

Writers may submit the first 50 pages of a previously unsubmitted novel and the $25 entry fee.

The first-prize winner receives $500, publication of an excerpt in the September issue of Richmond Magazine, a ticket to the annual James River Writers Conference, and feedback on the manuscript. Two finalists each receive $200.

Rules

To submit an entry, the author must be a resident of Virginia, a student at a Virginia college or university, or a member of JRW. Richmond magazine and JRW employees and board members cannot enter.

Your manuscript must be a work of fiction.

Work may not have been published prior to contest submission. This includes self-publishing, small press publishing, print on demand, and publishing the work on a blog or website. If your work is accepted for publication, please let us know so that we may remove it from consideration. (If you have self-published a book, you may want to consider the Best Self-published Book Contest.)

Each submission must have a cover sheet with the author’s name, contact information (include email, mailing address, and phone number) and the novel’s title. The author’s name can appear only on this cover sheet, not on any other pages. Manuscripts will be disqualified if submitted with authors’ names or other identifying information on any page other than the cover sheet.

Each page of the manuscript must have the title in the upper left corner, page numbers in the upper right, and be double-spaced with one-inch margins in Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12. Please print only on one side of the page. Use standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ white paper with nothing printed on the back. Submissions will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope (optional).

Full manuscripts will be requested later if the submission passes the first round of judging. If requested, full manuscripts should be no more than 100,000 words. Please do not submit duplicates of manuscripts entered in previous years. You may enter multiple manuscripts (with multiple submission fees), but please do not submit more than one version of the same manuscript.

Submission Process

Submissions will be accepted by USPS mail. Please send first the fifty pages according to the contest rules, with a $25 check, to:

James River Writers
Best Unpublished Novel Contest
2319 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23223

JRW announces its 2016 Award Winners

November 2nd, 2016

James River Writers is pleased to announce its 2016 award winners. We congratulate all of these winners. They represent the best of the Central Virginia writing community.

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Doug Jones

Doug Jones is the 2016 winner of the Emyl Jenkins Award. This award honors the memory of Emyl Jenkins, who passed away in 2010, by presenting an award to an outstanding individual who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia. As stated in his nomination, Doug Jones is encouraging and thoughtful and has a talent for gently coaxing his students to explore and push their comfort zones with their writing. Jones holds degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia. He has taught at UVA, Theatre Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Opera, as well as in private schools in the Richmond area. Doug has also published short stories, poetry, nonfiction, and scripts for radio and video. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Authors League of America.


Jo Allison receiving the Best Self-Published Novel Contest award at the JRW Conference.

Jo Allison receiving the Best Self-Published Novel Contest award at the JRW Conference. Photo by Caroline Brae.

The winners of the 2016 James River Writers’ Best Self-Published Novel Contest, judged by literary agent, Christopher Rhodes, with The Stuart Agency in NYC, are

First Place: Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl by Jo Allison

Second Place: Charlie Dead and the So-Called Zombie Apocalypse by Geoff Camphire

Third Place: Dust on the Bible by Bonnie Stanard

Of the first place winner, Christopher Rhodes said, “Jo Allison brings turn-of-the-century St. Louis alive with her fast-paced, historically accurate, and fiercely feminist Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl.” In addition to turning out her mystery series, Allison maintains a website dedicated to the micro-history of both 1910 and St. Louis: http://www.1910-stlouis-by-jallison.com. Topics range from what people wore to how they got around to the issues that they talked about. Allison also writes short stories and vignettes that support the novels—“between murders”—and those are available on joallisonauthor.com.

 


 

Zoa accepting the award for the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest.

Zoa accepting the award for the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest. Photo by Caroline Brae.

James River Writers and Richmond Magazine partner to announce Zoa as the winner of the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest, for his poem “A New Emotion.” Head judge and Virginia Poet Laureate, Ron Smith, said “Every time I come back to this poem, it moves me and intrigues me.” This contest, sponsored by James River Writers and Richmond Magazine, is named after Shann Palmer, a long-time JRW volunteer and board member, beloved poet, and a wild- and wise-hearted creative who shared her spirit and talents freely, inspiring and encouraging others in the literary community. She passed away in December 2013, and the contest (formerly “Best Poetry Contest”) was renamed in her honor the following year. A native of Ortonville, Michigan, Zoa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and literature at Eastern Michigan University. He works as a copy editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.