Literary Salon: The Secret Heart- Considering the Dark Side of Romance The 2016 Shann Palmer Poestry Contest is Open for Submissions Register for JRW's Best Self-Published Novel Contest Join Us for February's Writing Show, Love at First Line! David Robbins presents Art of the Narrative Master Class. New Master Class - A Literary Agent's Process

News and Events

February 11 Literary Salon: The Secret Heart

February 8th, 2016


heart-603214_1280James River Writers and The Poe Museum present our first Literary Salon—a new place to find inspiration this year!

We’re bringing back the grand tradition of the salon, an intimate setting to meet & fraternize with local authors as they in turn guide you in your own writing practice. Whatever your genre, this will be a great way to connect, to learn, and to philosophize. There is no cover charge. We welcome writerly types of all experience levels and readers, thinkers, and artists of every sort.

Topic: The Secret Heart – Considering the Dark Side of Romance

Speaker: Slash Coleman

Thursday, February 11, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Patrick Henry Pub & Grille, in the upstairs salon

2300 East Broad Street (free street parking) (more…)

New Master Class – A Literary Agent’s Process

February 8th, 2016


Join agent Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart Agency for this hands-on class that will demystify the agent/author relationship. Rhodes will walk you through the exciting and stressful journey from query letter to book sale, including examples of good and bad query letters, what to expect from the revision process, and what really goes into the book sale. With four hours of instruction time, there will be plenty of opportunity for questions and a chance for you to get feedback on your own query letter.



Date: Wednesday, February 24

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (with one hour for lunch)

Location: Visual Arts Center of Richmond, located at 1812 West Main Street

Parking: On street parking is available, and there is also a lot behind the building.

Cost: $100 for members; $140 for non-members

Class size is limited to 15 so that attendees have plenty of opportunity for one-on-one feedback, including getting a critique of a query letter.

Click here to register today!




February 24 Writing Show: Love at First Line

February 5th, 2016


One sentence? A paragraph? We’ve all heard the horror stories of how little time you have to capture an agent’s attention. Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart Agency joins us on stage to share concrete tips for making the most of your first line, paragraph, page, and chapter. Find out what mistakes writers most frequently make with their beginnings and how to avoid them. Leave with tips that will help you write a foolproof first page, whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction.


$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students
Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm
Wednesday, February 24
1609 West Broad Street (free parking at Lowe’s)

Click here to register today!


Art of the Narrative – a Fundraiser for JRW & The Podium Foundation

February 1st, 2016

NY Times bestselling author and professor of creative writing, David L. Robbins presents his popular Art of the Narrative Master Class for the fourth time. The class will go for eight sessions and focus on the structure of good story-telling. Robbins will guide students through the writing and workshopping of several short fiction pieces. Instructional emphasis will be on the actual craft, technique, and skills needed to tell each story.

Thursdays, April 7 – May 26 6:30 pm – 9:15 pm
VCU Honors College, 700 W. Grace St.


The three prior master class groups have remarked that David’s classes are not only informative and eye-opening but fun and a little crazy as well!

100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Podium Foundation and James River Writers. The class fee is $500 for members or $550 for non-JRW members and may be tax deductible. (Please consult your tax advisor to be certain.) A non-refundable $250 deposit is due by March 17; remainder due by April 28. Deposit will be refunded only if the minimum number of 8 seats is not filled. Admission is limited to only 12 spots.

David L. Robbins is the author of twelve successful novels. His work has been published around the world, and last year, he journeyed to Vietnam in pursuit of his thirteenth. He has won awards for screenwriting, essays, and his novels, and his second stage play, Sam & Carol, was produced in Richmond in 2015 by Henley Street Theatre. In addition to serving as co-founder for James River Writers and The Podium Foundation, David has partnered with the Virginia War Memorial to found The Mighty Pen Project, a writing program for veterans and military family members.

Click here to register today!

2016 Conference Dates Announced!

January 26th, 2016

JRWC_2015_5Hold the dates! The 14th annual James River Writers Conference will be October 14-16, 2016.

Master Classes on October 14

General Sessions at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on October 15 & 16

Registration opens in early summer. Be sure to sign up for Get Your Word On, our e-newsletter, to get all the updates!

Announcing the 2016 Shann Palmer Poetry Contest!

January 4th, 2016


JRW and Richmond magazine sponsor the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest to encourage Virginia poets to share their best work. The competition is held every other year (even years), alternating with the Best Unpublished Novel Contest.

The contest 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.


First prize: $500, publication of winning poem(s) in Richmond magazine, and a ticket to the annual James River Writers conference.

Two finalists will each receive $200.

Deadline (postmark):  Thursday, March 31, 2016

Submissions: Up to four original, unpublished poems.

Entry fee: $15.

First submit the entry fee of $15 using the “Register Today” button below and a credit card. Once you have submitted payment, you will receive a receipt via email. Print your receipt and follow the guidelines below to mail in your submission.




Submissions must be mailed to

James River Writers
2319 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23223 (more…)