Join us April 29th for Author Website: Build It To Build A Following, 6pm at the Firehouse Theatre. Get your tickets now! Support JRW and Increase Your Wardrobe Through Bonfire Funds! Support JRW and Increase Your Wardrobe Through Bonfire Funds!

News and Events

April Writing Show – The Author Website: Build it to Build a Following.

April 13th, 2015

web design word cloudA great author website doesn’t have to be complicated. Find out how to build a website that can showcase your work to publishing professionals and help you connect with readers.

Topics our experts will discuss include

  • What are the must-haves for the author website
  • When to bring in a professional
  • Blog subscriptions versus newsletter email lists
  • How to fund your author website, or use it to find funding
  • Adding social media and blogs
  • Press packages, FAQ documents

When: Wednesday, April 29, 6:00 pm

Where: Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street(Parking available across the street in the Lowe’s lot)

Price: $12 for Members, $15 for non-Members, $5 for Students

Click here to register today!


Order by 5/3! JRW T-shirts Are Back!

April 13th, 2015

unnamed (6)unnamed (5)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 almost every day of the week? Have you been hoping for witty, good-looking designs that match your savoir faire? Well, you’re in luck! (more…)

March Writing Show Recap and Query Examples

April 7th, 2015

By Kellie Larsen Murphy

Life After Rejection: What To Do Before You Query Again

No matter how accomplished a writer is, he or she is bound to have experienced some rejection along the way. This month’s writing show, Life After Rejection, focused on query letter rejection and how to manage it, learn from it, and try, try again.

JRW’s Karen Chase opened the show with a story of one author’s path to success, littered with 61 rejections. Along the way, she heard, “There is no market for this tired writing.” After finally landing an agent (61 rejections later), her book was picked up by a publisher in only three weeks! That author was Kathryn Stockett and the book, The Help. (more…)

Best Unpublished Novel Winner Now a Published Author!

April 4th, 2015
Kirsten Lopresti

Kirsten Lopresti

Kirsten Lopresti, winner of the 2009 Best Unpublished Novel (BUN) Contest, credits the feedback she received from judge and author Susann Cokal for helping her elevate her winning entry into an acclaimed debut novel, Bright Coin Moon, published in November by Sky Pony Press.

Cokal describes Bright Coin Moon as “Anywhere But Here for a new decade. Lopresti hits all the high notes in a story that’s wrenching, ripping, and often laugh-out-loud funny.”

We caught up with Lopresti to learn more about her novel, talk about the impact of James River Writers, and highlight the power of contests for writers. (more…)

Best Unpublished Novel Contest – Final Judge Announced!

March 23rd, 2015

Maya Smart TCF (1)James River Writers is pleased to announce that the final judge for the Best Unpublished Novel competition will be Maya Payne Smart. Maya is a writer and literacy ambassador who shares reviews, interviews, and musings at and She served on the boards of the YWCA of Richmond and The Community Foundation serving Richmond and Central Virginia. She also raised funds and awareness for numerous local nonprofits including FRIENDS Association for Children and The Richmond Christmas Mother Fund. She is a former chair of James River Writers and served on the national board of governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Her honors include Style Weekly’s 40 under 40 Award and an Excellence in Journalism Award from The Press Club of Cleveland. (more…)

BUN Judges Only

March 20th, 2015

To access the online form, click here.