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News and Events

James River Writers Announces the 2013 Best Unpublished Novel Contest Winner and Finalists

June 25th, 2013

James River Writers is pleased to announce Laura Long of Charlottesville, for What Will Burn, as the first place winner of the JRW and Richmond Magazine 2013 Best Unpublished Novel Contest. Phyllis Haislip of Williamsburg, for The Viscount’s Daughter, and Derek Kannemeyer of Richmond, for The Memory Addicts, have been selected as finalists.

The Best Unpublished Novel Contest, held since 2008 in alternating years with the Best Poetry Contest, is at the heart of James River Writers’ mission of connecting and inspiring readers and writers.

Seventy-two writers submitted the first fifty pages of their manuscripts to be scored by a cadre of volunteer readers. The process was completely anonymous. A team of second-round judges—Maya Payne Smart, Gigi Amateau, and Douglas Jones—selected the three finalists from the top nine’s complete manuscripts. Head judge Virginia Pye then determined the winner.

“Long’s What Will Burn is written in simple, clear language that shows admirable restraint and even, at times, elegance,” says Pye, author of River of Dust (Unbridled Books, May 2013). (more…)

Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

June 25th, 2013

dawnsearlylight by steampunk authors Tee Morris and Pip BallantineKathleen Sams Flippen, Writer/Owner of Spaces by KSF, interviews Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, Steampunk proponents and authors of Phoenix Rising, The Janus Affair, and Dawn’s Early Light. Featured speakers at the James River Writers 2013 Annual Conference, the husband and wife team talk goggles and airships, social media and networking, how to juggle creation and marketing, and how to rise and stay afloat in the ever-changing world of the written word.




Waxing Poetic: A Recap of June on the James

June 21st, 2013

It was most definitely a night to be remembered. No, I’m not talking about your junior prom or graduation day, silly, but about the 2013 June on the James, our annual fundraising soirée, held on the evening of Thursday, June 6.

Check out Facebook for more snapshots of the event as well as photobooth pictures!

Hosted by Shann Palmer and again held at the gorgeous Dominion Riverfront Complex, the night was studded with fabulous food, tempting silent auction wares and JRDub-bers in their chic and sophisticated finest mixing & mingling. But that’s just the tip of this metaphorically bedecked iceberg: the fête also boasted live art by Eugene Vango, live music by the Carytown Ramblers, photography by Mara Dovis, a fortuneteller, a raffle, and, yes, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

An evening of class, laughs, and general literary high-jinks indeed… as well as some serious celebration: (more…)

June 2013 Writing Show: A Writer’s Platform – Marketing at Every Stage of Your Career

June 20th, 2013

The Writing Show

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Pencil by Jennifer Drummond


Who are you as a writer? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned author, how do you build your brand and your following? Being a writer today means more than just writing. Learning and implementing marketing strategies at every chapter of your journey is essential for success.

A Writer’s Platform – Marketing at Every Stage of Your Career, offered unique perspectives from three authors—Karen Chase, Deb Dudley, and Meg Medina—each in a different phase of their literary paths. Julie Geen, a freelance writer and teacher, moderated the discussion, which included how to prioritize and budget tasks and how to shape an identity as a writer.

Support JRW at the Arts & Culture Xpo on June 29

June 20th, 2013

Arts & Culture XpoWouldn’t your life be complete with a custom haiki crafted by a Richmond poet? Haven’t you been dreaming of starring in your own zombie story?

Come by the JRW booth at the Arts & Culture Xpo on Saturday, June 29, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., to help us raise money and have fun with the written word.

Also be sure to visit Stage 2 at 3:15 PM. You won’t want to miss Shann Palmer and Joanna Lee performing spoken word.

The Arts and Culture Xpo is an annual event presented by CultureWorks spotlighting over 100 of the Richmond region’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations all under one roof on one day. It is a gathering for anyone who values arts and culture in our community.

Sign-up to be a Cultural Shareholder today to receive free Xpo Bucks to support the arts at the Xpo. Anyone, of voting age, who recognizes and values arts and culture to help build great communities can become a Cultural Shareholder. There are no fees but registration is required.  (more…)

Twitter Chat with Virginia Pye on Friday, June 21

June 20th, 2013

River of Dust CoverPlease join James River Writers on Friday, June 21st from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET to participate in a Twitter chat with Virginia Pye, author of the debut novel River of Dust, about all things writing related.

Virginia Pye’s debut novel, River of Dust, is an Indie Next Pick for May, 2013. She has a recent essay inThe Rumpus, one forthcoming in The New York Times Opinionator blog and was interviewed at The Nervous Breakdown and The Huffington Post. Her award-winning short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines. Virginia holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and has taught writing at New York University and The University of Pennsylvania. She was a past three term chair of James River Writers.Visit 

Here is how the Twitter chat will work:  (more…)