James River Writers Conference Registration Still Open!

Logo for the 13th Annual James River Writers Conference on October 16-18, 2015 Click here to register today and take advantage of JRW member discounts!sponsor


General Sessions on Saturday, October 17 – Sunday, October 18, 2015
at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA

Pre-Conference Master Classes on Friday, October 16, 2015

Registration Starting at $215

Click on any of the word balloons below to learn more about this year’s conference.


Sessions2fridaymasterclasses speakers agents3

firstpages pitchapalooza Click here to confirm you're registered for the James River Writers Conference Not a writer, but want to attend? Click here to learn about our Reader's Pass

Lunch and Learn

Since 2003, the James River Writers Conference has attracted prize-winning authors and highly regarded editors and agents from around the country to share their wisdom about writing and publishing. More than 300 people attend this multi-day event, known for its inspiring, collegial atmosphere and Southern hospitality.

To ensure the best experience for all attendees, JRW asks that everyone taking part in our conference abide by our Code of Conduct.


JRWC-2014-04 JRWC-2014-02 Click here to view pictures from the 2014 James River Writers Conference JRWC-2014-03 JRWC-2014-05

* Panels and panelists are subject to change without notice.


Throwback Thursday: May Writing Show

We wanted to share some pictures from this past month’s Writing Show. Thanks to Richard Bailey for taking them for us.

Be sure to also join us for our June Writing Show when we team up with Richmond Young Writers and the Girls of Summer to present Writing for Girls.

Rebekah Pierce will moderate the discussion. JRW is excited to welcome Sarah McGuire, author of the debut novel Valiant, to the stage and to introduce Odessa Hott, who is a Richmond Young Writer.







Photographs provided by:
Richard Bailey,
Author of Thus to Innocence
Click here to view the book trailer to Thus to Innocence

July Master Classes on Using Scrivener Writing Tools




Scrivener is a flexible word processor and project management tool geared toward helping writers plan, structure, compose, and revise long documents. Store and view research materials (including images, webpages, and PDFs) alongside your writing, or use the distraction-free mode to keep focused. Organize your work from a bird’s-eye view with the outliner or corkboard.


headshot_jhughesJennifer Hughes provides Q&A, customer tech support, and other odds and ends for Literature & Latte, developer of the popular writing software Scrivener and Scapple. She was the technical editor for Pearson’s Scrivener Absolute Beginner’s Guide and contributed to editing Wiley’s Scrivener for Dummies. Outside of work, she uses Scrivener for everything from writing novels to organizing recipes.


June 24th Writing Show – Writing for Girls


For our June Writing Show, James River Writers is teaming up with Richmond Young Writers and the Girls of Summer to present Writing for Girls. We will discuss what it means to write for girls–both young and not-so-young.

  • Does it mean your protagonist is only female?
  • Does it mean your readers can’t be boys?
  • How do diversity and gender roles play into developing children’s and YA (Young Adult) fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that resonates with today’s girls?

Rebekah Pierce will moderate the discussion. JRW is excited to welcome Sarah McGuire, author of the debut novel Valiant, to the stage and to introduce Odessa Hott, who is a Richmond Young Writer.

$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students

Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm

Wednesday, June 24th


1609 West Broad Street (free parking at Lowe’s)

Click here to register today!

The Girls of Summer is a summer reading list focused on stories for strong girls, curated by Meg Medina and Gigi Amateau.

Richmond Young Writers was founded in the summer of 2009 at Chop Suey Bookstore with the intention of introducing young people to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community.

Master Class with Howard Yoon: Perfecting your Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Howard-1Literary non-fiction agent Howard Yoon will conduct this Master Class about the publishing industry as it relates to what you’re writing and how you’re writing it.

Whether you are finishing up a non-fiction manuscript or just getting started on a new book, learn to fine-tune your ideas based on:

1 – Knowing what publishers want.

2 – Knowing what you do best as a writer.

You will be able to talk directly to Howard in an intimate group setting with plenty of one-on-one time.

Registration is limited to no more than 10 attendees

$65 for Members; $100 for Non-Members

May 27, 2:00 pm – 4:45 pm

St. John’s Parish Hall, 2401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23223

Click here to register today! (more…)

May Writing Show – Writing Virginia into Non-Fiction

Map_VirginiaMemoirs are made about growing up in Virginia. Documentaries are filmed about the people and places here. Numerous periodicals explore all aspects of life in our diverse state. We have big cities, small towns, swamps, beaches, mountains, and farms. Our stories are as varied as our history.

Explore how to make Virginia a part of a non-fiction work with literary agent Howard Yoon, photojournalist John Henley, and moderator Kristen Green. Topics will include:

  • How Virginia offers us landscapes and places with real-life stories
  • Ideas for exploring the stories, places, and people of Virginia
  • What writing close to home does for non-fiction
  • The forms of non-fiction we’ve seen in Virginia–journalism, documentaries, and more…

$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students

Click here to register today!

August 26th Writing Show: Writing Virginia into Your Fiction


For our August Writing Show, James River Writers travels the Commonwealth in search of stories short and long.

Virginia has mountains, valleys, cities, small towns, beaches, rivers, and enough history to inspire any type of legendary character, not to mention the everyday places and people with which we interact. All this informs stories that range from the current Loving film detailing the fight for inter-racial marriage rights to every child’s favorite, Misty of Chincoteague–and that’s just the Eastern Shore. Add in novels such as Bridge to Teribithia, The Wettest County in the World, Roots, Flowers in the Attic, and Gods and Generals, best sellers that have all been adapted into hit films, and its clear that Virginia works as a setting for almost any type of fiction.

As playwrights, authors, and screenwriters, how do we write Virginia into our fiction?

How do Virginia locations influence our settings?

With travel and writing tips, our panelists share personal experiences about including the state in their research, production, and work.

Because Virginia is also for lovers of the written word.

Click here to register today!



$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students

Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm

Wednesday, August 26th


1609 West Broad Street (free parking at Lowe’s)



March Writing Show – Life After Rejection: What To Do Before You Query Again

Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl. Even these authors have been rejected. So how do you pick up and get going again? And what rational steps should you take to reevaluate your rejectedwork and submissions before you query again?

Join panelists Lisa Hagan and David Morgan, and moderator Kris Spisak for discussions and Q&A. Stay for the second half when coach Sarah Beth Jones will help provide tangible ways to get reenergized and stay motivated.

Some questions the panel will address include

Does your query match the quality of your book?
• Are you querying the right agent or publisher?
• Does your book need to be edited?
• Is networking your missing component?
• At what point do you call in professional help?



February Writing Show Recap – The Hero’s Journey

By Kellie Larsen Murphy

Plotting the Hero’s Journey

Kellie Larsen Murphy

Kellie Larsen Murphy

The February Writing Show, the first in its new home at the Firehouse Theatre, played to a packed house the last Wednesday of the month. Plotting the Hero’s Journey featured guest panelists Connie Lapallo and Greg Smith, along with moderator Doug Jones.

Ms. Lapallo is the author of two novels based on historic Jamestown’s first women and children. She has spoken before 425 groups across eight states and is recognized as a historian regarding Virginia’s 17th century women. She was invited to address the Virginia Monument Commission regarding its monument to Virginia’s women at the State Capitol. Ms. Lapallo has a degree in Finance from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Georgia.