Announcing the Inaugural Best Self-published Novel Contest

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

The contest will be conducted in alternating years with the Best Unpublished Novel Contest.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 2014 at the James River Writers Conference. Press releases will also recognize the winner.

Two finalists each receive $200.

Rules

To submit an entry, the author must be a JRW member or a student at a Virginia college or university. Join JRW.

Submissions for the 2014 contest will be accepted from May 1 through June 30, 2014 (postmark deadline of Monday, June 30). (more…)

Announcing the 2014 Best Poetry Contest!

First prize: $500, publication of winning poem(s) in Richmond Magazine, and a ticket to the annual James River Writers conference.

Two finalists will each receive $200.

Deadline (postmark):  Friday, February 28, 2014

Entry fee: $15. Checks should be made out to James River Writers.

Submit up to four original, never-published poems for the single entry fee of $15.  A poet may enter only once.

Submissions must be mailed to

Richmond magazine
Best Poetry Contest
2201 W. Broad St., Suite 105
Richmond, VA 23220. (more…)

James River Writers Announces the 2013 Best Unpublished Novel Contest Winner and Finalists

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Laura Long of Charlottesville, for What Will Burn, as the first place winner of the JRW and Richmond Magazine 2013 Best Unpublished Novel Contest.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The Best Unpublished Novel Contest, held since 2008 in alternating years with the Best Poetry Contest, is at the heart of James River Writers’ mission of connecting and inspiring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…)

JRW Announces Emyl Jenkins Award Recipients Sophia Volpi, Louise Ball, and Hampton Roads Writers

James River Writers is pleased to announce the 2013 winners of the Emyl Jenkins Award: Hampton Roads Writers and the team of Sophia Volpi and Louise Ball.

Shawna Christos with Emyl Jenkins in 2009

Award Chair Shawna Christos with Emyl Jenkins in 2009

The awards honor 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.

“We all need the laughter and encouragement that she brought to our lives, and since she’s no longer with us, we need to know of the others who are making Virginia a better place for all of us writers,” said award committee chair Shawna Christos.

VolpiandBall

Emyl Jenkins Award Winners Sophia Volpi and Louise Ball

A powerful team strengthening the Charlottesville writing community, Sophia Volpi and Louise Ball have worked tirelessly as co-Municipal Liaisons for their local NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and as co-founders of the WriterHouse SFF (Sci-Fi/Fantasty/Speculative Fiction) Group. (more…)

Remembering Emyl Jenkins

Just Ten Days Left to Submit Emyl Jenkins Award Nominations

by Shawna Christos
JRW Board Member

Emyl Jenkins 1941-2010Being asked to write about Emyl Jenkins and the James River Writers award named for her has not been an easy task for me, many words have been written and many more deleted. These are the best ones I could find to try to explain the Emyl I knew, and why the JRW Award named for her is important.

She was so multi-faceted and involved in so many organizations and with so many people that I’m sure everyone thinks of her a bit differently. From her beloved garden, antiques, and work with several organizations, as well as her own writing and books, Emyl never seemed to slow down much. With all this, she also was never failing in her support and encouragement of other writers, no matter their age, no matter where they were in their writing skills or endeavors. (more…)

Celebrating Creative Spirits: 2012 Jenkins Award Recipients

“Give back to your community and your industry.  Become a mentor or an intern sponsor … Never forget to credit those who helped you become the artist and the person you are today. Give back and you too will receive.”

Creative consultant Mary Virginia Swanson used these sentences to end a piece called “A Brief List of Self-Assignments for Artists.” While this may seem like easy advice to follow, sometimes it is equally instructive to learn from another’s example.  James River Writers nurtures a similar creative spirit by hosting Writers Wednesdays, organizing yearly conferences, and finding myriad opportunities to bring writers together in central Virginia.  But an honor like the Emyl Jenkins Award allows an organization like JRW to recognize the individuals and organizations that also strengthen the local writing community.

(more…)

2011 Novel Contest

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

Finalists:

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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A First for Two: 2011 Jenkins Award Recipients

Congratulations to Jean Anderson and WriterHouse for receiving the first Emyl Jenkins Awards. Anderson is Richmond liaison for National Novel Writing Month and WriterHouse is a nonprofit writers’ community in Charlottesville.

Here is more about the winners:

Jean Anderson
Nominated by Kristi Austin Tuck

Jean Anderson visiting a school in Hampton Roads to introduce NaNoWriMo to students During National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), writers around the
world each try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Last year, more than 200,000 writers participated — 366 in Richmond wrote 7,865,382 words — including Anderson, a science fiction writer also known as “LuckyJean” among NaNoWriMo participants. The judges cited Anderson for encouraging writers, especially fledglings, to get words down on the page, something Jenkins did with infectious enthusiasm.

WriterHouse
Nominated by Heather K. Michon

WriterHouse Since 2008, WriterHouse has served writers at all levels by offering work space, writing classes, seminars, critique groups, readings and events. Michon nominated the group for the way it builds a community for writers in the Charlottesville area. In WriterHouse, the judges saw the reflection of Emyl Jenkins’ knack for connecting people.

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2010 Poetry Contest

Laura Davenport (photo from Richmond Magazine)

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Laura Davenport for winning first place in the 2010 Best Poetry Contest, co-sponsored by Richmond Magazine. Read this article to find out more about Laura and read her poem, “Sermon: New Orleans, 2003.”

Here are the other 2010 winners:

Finalists (read the finalists’ poems in this article)

  • Heidi Johannesen Poon,“The Problem of the Forest”
  • Henry Hart, “White Goddess”

Honorable Mentions

  • Wendy Miles, “The Green Place” and “Memory: Virginia”
  • Sallie Lupton Jennings, “He Stays”
  • Mil Norman-Risch, “Remains”
  • Virginia Rider, “From Miller’s Lane”

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2009 Novel Contest

Congratulations to Kathleen Kay Chalmers of Newport News for winning first place in the 2009 Best Unpublished Novel Contest, co-sponsored by Richmond Magazine. Read this article to find out more about Kathleen and to read the first two chapters of her book.

Here are all of the 2009 winners:

First Place:

Murder in a Good Neighborhood
by Kathleen Kay Chalmers of Newport News, VA

Finalists:

Kinlock Shelter
Nicole Anderson Ellis of Richmond

Bright Coin Moon
Kirsten Lopresti of Oak Hill

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