Register for JRW's Best Self-Published Novel Contest Register for The July Writing Show New T-shirt designs available until July 25 Nominations are now open for the 2016 Emyl Jenkins Award Your Story, Your Voice! Register now for the JRW Conference 2016, Oct 14-16, 2016

News and Events


July 6th, 2016
Phaedra-Hise-2015 Profile pic

Phaedra Hise

The Writing Show LogoRichmond is a winning combo for writers: Fantastic vibe plus terrific local publications. Phaedra Hise, freelance writer and Contributing Food Editor at Virginia Living, moderates a panel of editors from a cross section of Richmond publications, Jessica Haddad, Richmond Magazine, Karen Schwarzkopf, Richmond Family Magazine, and Matt Dewald, University of Richmond Magazine.

Our experts will talk about their submission process, advice for breaking in, and insider tips for freelancers. Don’t miss local pub night!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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


Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street


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


Click here to register today!



Phaedra Hise

Phaedra-Hise-2015 Profile picAs a freelance writer and editor, Phaedra Hise explores the trends and drama inherent in entrepreneurship, business, adventure, food and drink. She is the author of five nonfiction books. She is a former Contributor to CNN Money, former Staff Writer for Inc. and current Food Editor for Virginia Living. Phaedra has been the online editor for Inc., Senior Editor for Colloquy and Executive Editor for Edible Richmond.

Her award-winning work has been anthologized and published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Salon, Forbes, Popular Mechanics and Smithsonian. Her most recent book is The Secret Life of Hoarders.

Phaedra has appeared on CNN, Al Jazeera America, CNBC and national radio as an expert commentator, and speaks regularly at conferences and universities about writing. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, a former chef. Her social media feed is full of food photographs.

Twitter and Instagram @HiPhaedra


Jessica Ronky Haddad

Jessica Haddad profileJessica Haddad is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience writing, editing and project-managing print and digital content. She is a versatile writer who delivers clear, concise and engaging copy on nearly any topic. Her specialties include feature writing, web development and content management, writing for the web, project management, e-mail marketing, integrated communications strategy, social media, internal communications, copy editing, and AP style.
Twitter: RHomeMagazine

Karen Schwarzkopf

Schwartzkopf_Karen profile photoKaren Schwartzkopf has her dream job as managing editor of RFM. Wife, mother, arts and sports lover, she lives and works in the West End with her family: husband Scott, who not coincidentally is RFM’s creative director, and their daughters—Sam, Robin, and Lindsey. You can read Karen’s take on parenting in the Editor’s Voice.
Twitter: RFMToday

Matt Dewald

Matt Dewald profile photoMatt Dewald is Editor, University of Richmond Magazine, the alumni magazine and the law school alumni magazine at University of Richmond in Virginia. Prior to that, he was director Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, the country’s largest humor and human-interest writers’ workshop, hosted every two years at the University of Dayton, the alma mater of Erma Bombeck. He also served as Associate director, communications at the University of Dayton and Editor of University of Dayton Magazine, editor of Dayton Educator magazine, writer and editor for variety of other print and online publications.
Twitter: mdewaldRVA

Emyl Jenkins Award Now Accepting Nominations

July 5th, 2016

Emyl Jenkins 1941-2010To honor the memory of Emyl Jenkins, who passed away in 2010, James River Writers presents an award to an outstanding individual who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.

An advocate for writers and their readers, Emyl had a knack for connecting both people and organizations. She shared her time and expertise with everyone she encountered. She encouraged writers at all levels, especially fledglings trying to get those first words down on the page. Her generous spirit and enthusiasm rubbed off on everyone she touched, and, like ripples in a pond, her actions widened the circle of writing encouragement.

Award Details

Any Virginia individual is eligible, except for members of the JRW board of directors, the advisory board, or staff.


Register Now for the 2016 James River Writers Conference

June 29th, 2016
14th Annual James River Writers Conference Logo Click here to register today and take advantage of JRW member discounts!sponsor


General Sessions on Saturday, October 15 – Sunday, October 16, 2016
at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA

Pre-Conference Master Classes on Friday, October 14, 2016

Register before August 1st to take advantage of our early bird discount.
Starting at $220 for members ($275 for non-members).

On August 1st, prices will increase for members to $270 (non-members to $325).

Click on any of the images below to learn more about this year’s conference.

friday master classes Saturday and Sunday Sessions One-on-One Meetings with Literary Agents
Learn more about our award-winning speakers The Agent Dating Game with Jason Tesauro The First Pages Panel


Click here to register today!


JRW T-shirts Are Back!

June 27th, 2016

Have you been longing for the day when the James River Writers’ t-shirt campaign would return with new colors so that you could wear a different JRW tee every day of the week? Have you been hoping for two quality designs, multiple color options, and even V-neck shirts? Well, you’re in luck!


June 29 Writing Show – Writer with a Capital W: Treating Yourself as a Professional

June 2nd, 2016

June Writing Show - Writer with a Capital W: Treating Yourself as a Professional graphic

Your dabbling days are behind you. Your work as a writer is a source of satisfaction, pride, and potential income. If you expect others to take you seriously as a writer, you must to be the first to do so.

Lamar Giles, a nationally known and accomplished Young Adult author, will talk about his journey in becoming a Writer. He’ll discuss the both the internal and the external transformation and what you can do now to facilitate the process.



Internal Transformation

  • Discover why becoming a Writer with a capital W has to start from inside
  • Debunk fears that may hold us back
  • Learn how to nurture the right mind set
  • Take pride in your work

External Transformation

  • Treat your writing as a business
  • Schedule writing appointments and show up ready to work
  • Follow the steps you can’t skip: write, finish your projects, get your work out to readers
  • Value your work so others will do the same

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can invest in yourself as a business, show up for work ready to produce, and place value on yourself and your work.


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


Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street


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

Click here to register today!




Lamar Giles profile photoLamar Giles writes novels and short stories for teens and adults. He is the author of the 2015 Edgar® Award Nominee FAKE ID, a second YA thriller ENDANGERED, a third, currently untitled YA novel from HarperCollins, as well as the forthcoming YA novel OVERTURNED from Scholastic Press. Lamar Giles is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. He resides in Virginia with his wife.




We’re delighted to announce that this show is sponsored by O’Hagan LLC. We are so appreciative for their support of our community and the literary arts.


O'Hagan Attorneys Advisors logo







Update on the Best Self-Published Novel Contest!

April 6th, 2016


James River Writers recognizes the writing talents and entrepreneurial skills of indie authors by continuing The Best Self-Published Novel Contest, which we started in 2014.

The contest will be conducted in alternating (even) years with the Best Unpublished Novel Contest.

Contest Details

One first-prize winner will receive $500 and a ticket to the annual James River Writers Conference. The winner will be announced in October 2016 at the James River Writers Conference. Press releases will also recognize the winner.

Two finalists each receive $200.


To pay the $25 entry fee with a credit card, use the “Register Today” button below. 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. To pay with a check, follow the guidelines below.




To submit an entry, the author must be a resident of Virginia, or a full-time student at a Virginia college or university, or a James River Writers member. (Out-of-state writers may enter the contest by becoming members. You may join at the same time as paying your entry fee by using the “Register Today” button above or by including an additional $40 in your check amount.) (more…)