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News and Events

2014 Emyl Jenkins Award Winner Announced

August 23rd, 2014

 Richmond, VA — James River Writers is pleased to announce that Denise Golinowski is the 2014 winner of the Emyl Jenkins Award.

Emyl Jenkins Award Chair Shauna Christos and 2014 Award Winner Denise Golinowski

Emyl Jenkins Award Chair Shawna Christos and 2014 Award Winner Denise Golinowski

The award honors the memory of the late Emyl Jenkins, passionate writing advocate and much-missed JRW member, by acknowledging those in Virginia who best represent her love of connecting and encouraging all writers.

Denise is a founding member of the RichWriters critique group and has been an active member of James River Writers and Virginia Romance Writers over the years. Additionally, she runs her own blog and contributes to a blog for local romance writers called Tea and Strumpets. In these capacities, she has earned a reputation for providing thoughtful and constructive criticism and support in a manner that improves her colleagues’ writing and is encouraging toward other writers. (more…)

Expanding the Writing Community: Phil Hilliker Joins JRW as Membership Coordinator

August 21st, 2014

After moving to Richmond, Phil Hilliker was in need of a writing critique group. Now he not only shares his work with four other authors, he has joined James River Writers as the new Membership Coordinator.

Phil_smA freelance illustrator and a work-at-home dad, Phil has created illustrations for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror role-playing games, as well as middle-grade fiction. Phil and his wife moved from Tuscon for her new position as a biology professor at University of Richmond, and Phil has also been working on stories of his own. (more…)

Calling All Doodlers

August 21st, 2014

Betty smBetty Plevney has an MBA from Ohio State University and an MA in Writing From the University of San Francisco. She travels the globe meeting with clients, who range from Fortune 500 corporations to governmental agencies and family foundations. What exactly does she do? Betty is a professionally trained and highly sought-after graphic facilitator. Using skills in deep listening, information synthesis, and intuitive visual processing, she creates visual maps that illuminate the collective wisdom of the group and foster understanding of complex data. In short, Betty is a professional doodler. And she’ll be doodling for all to see at the James River Writers Conference. (more…)

Pitching in the Big Leagues

August 17th, 2014

Being ready with a pitch—a concise, compelling description of your book—is especially important at writing conferences because you will have opportunities, either spontaneous or scheduled, to talk about your book with publishing professionals. These opportunities might be casual; in fact, the best opportunities are always the organic ones. An editor might be sitting at your lunch table, or perhaps you meet an author who asks about your current project. Other opportunities are more formal, such as scheduled consultations. You might have a chance to pitch in a one-on-one appointment with a literary agent or editor, in a small-group setting, or in a large pitch contest.

"The Book Doctors" Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

“The Book Doctors” Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

At the James River Writers Conference, our pitch contest is called “Pitchapalooza.” It’s run by The Book Doctors, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, who do Pitchapalooza events all over the country.

Whatever the circumstances of your pitching moment, preparation empowers you to shine. (more…)

August Writing Show Recap

August 9th, 2014

How to Lose an Agent in Ten Steps

by Kellie Larsen Murphy

Many writers either already have an agent or are actively seeking one. Generally, it’s the first step in selling your work to a publisher (large or small). To help, there are dozens of websites and blogs devoted to telling an author how to go about getting an agent but there are none who that can tell you how you can lose one—until now!

Kristi Tuck Austin

Kristi Tuck Austin

This month’s Writing Show, How to Lose an Agent in Ten Steps, could be renamed What NOT to do if you want to keep your agent! Moderated by Kristi Tuck Austin, the format for this month’s show was modeled after David Letterman’s Top Ten List—complete with a “House Band” to count down from #10 to #1. (more…)

New at the 2014 James River Writers Conference: Critiques!

August 8th, 2014

One of the unique aspects of the James River Writers Conference is that it has something for everyone. No matter what the next step in your writing journey may be, you will find something helpful at the conference. Our job is to help you meet your writing goals. With this in mind, we’ve added a new opportunity to the conference this year: critiques.

Ann Rittenberg

Ann Rittenberg

Over the years, people have told us how much they love the chance to meet one-on-one with an agent or editor. Unlike other conferences, this meeting is offered to conference goers without any extra fee. The one-on-one appointments are designed to give writers an opportunity to pitch their latest manuscript to a publishing professional. However, we also know that some writers are not quite ready to pitch; they would rather work on their craft a bit more. That’s where critiques come in. (more…)