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July 2011 Writing Show: Girls of Summer: A Conversation with Authors who Celebrate Strong Girls

July 28th, 2011

The Writing Show

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Website for Girls of Summer





Gigi AmateauGigi Amateau is the author of the young adult novel, A Certain Strain of Peculiar, and the middle-grade novel, Chancey of the Maury River. Her debut young adult novel, Claiming Georgia Tate, was selected as a Book Sense Children’s Pick, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and a VOYA Review Editor’s Choice. She also contributed to the acclaimed anthology, Our White House: Looking In Looking Out. Gigi is a native of Mississippi. She grew up in Mechanicsville, Va., and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Urban Studies and Planning. She lives in the city of Richmond, Va., with her husband and daughter.

Meg MedinaMeg Medina has written for adults and children for over 15 years. Her stories and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines. MILAGROS: Girl from Away is her first novel for young readers. Her first picture book, TIA ISA WANTS A CAR, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press in 2011. She’s currently working on a new young adult and new middle grade novel. She lives in Richmond, Va., with her husband and three children.


Steve WatkinsSteve Watkins is the author of What Comes After, a young adult novel published in spring 2011, and Down Sand Mountain, winner of the 2009 Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, both published by Candlewick Press. Another young adult novel, Juvie, is scheduled for publication by Candlewick in spring 2013. Steve is also author of a short story collection, My Chaos Theory, which was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize and an Honorable Mention for the Library of Virginia Fiction Award. He also wrote the award-winning non-fiction book The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire, published in 1997 by the University of Georgia Press, which tells the story of the largest employment discrimination class action lawsuit in U.S. history. His fiction, poetry, and non-fiction articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The NationPoets & WritersMississippi Review100 Percent Pure Florida FictionNorth American Review, andThe Pushcart Prize Anthology. A graduate of Florida State University, Steve teaches journalism, creative writing, and Vietnam War literature at the University of Mary Washington.

Rebecca LaurenRebecca Lauren was born in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley and now lives in Philadelphia and teaches English at Eastern University. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Prairie SchoonerMid-American ReviewThe Journal of Feminist Studies in ReligionQuarter After EightCalyx and The Cincinnati Review, among others. Her coming-of-age poem, “In the Fifth Grade Locker Room,” appears in both audio and visual form in Poetry Speaks Who I Am, an anthology by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Her chapbook, The Schwenkfelders, was co-winner of the 2009 Keystone Chapbook Prize and is available through Seven Kitchens Press.

Valerie O. PattersonValerie O. Patterson was raised in the Florida panhandle where the Gulf of Mexico inspired a love of blue and a fascination with the horizon and what lies beyond. She graduated in May 2008 with an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University, where she twice received the Shirley Henn Award for Creative Scholarship. She has also received a Work-in-Progress grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her first novel, The Other Side of Blue, published in 2009, came out in paperback this April. In addition to SCBWI, she is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Women’s National Book Association, and the Authors Guild. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband.

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2011 Novel Contest

July 14th, 2011

Congratulations to Mary Lou Hall of Richmond for winning first place in the 2011 Best Unpublished Novel Contest, co-sponsored by Richmond Magazine. The competition was fierce with over 70 submissions from all over the state.

Here are all of the 2011 winners:

First Place:

Dogs and Heroes
by Mary Lou Hall of Richmond, VA


Little Song
by Margaret Rodenberg of Reston, VA

The Hesitancy of the First Moon
by Lavinia Moxey of Richmond, VA

Special thanks to the team of writers and publishing professionals who helped with this massive undertaking, especially Anne Westrick, Jann Malone, Kelly JusticeRebecca Joines SchinskyMichele Young-Stone, and Irene Ziegler.

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