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.


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…)

Master Class with Literary Agent John Cusick

On August 29th, JRW will host a Master Class featuring Greenhouse Literary Agent John Cusick.  During the three hour class, Standing Out: Catching and Keeping an Agent, John will work with a small group of participants to identify key strategies to attracting the attention of the right agent and developing a successful relationship.

Registration for the Master Class will be capped at no more than twelve participants, as Mr. Cusick will work directly with each attending writer to hone their query letter and discuss their first two pages.  These items will need to be submitted in advance as double-spaced, 12pt font Microsoft Word documents.  Master Class attendees should be prepared to have their query letter and first pages shared with and critiqued by other class members. (more…)

April Writing Show and Master Class Recaps: Mining for Stories with Carrie and John Gregory Brown

April Writing Show Recap
Coloring Between the Lines: Using What You Know and Where You’re From in Fiction
by Kris Spisak, KS Writing

Surrounded by the Broadberry’s chic chandeliers, stomachs happy from a sumptuous spread, April’s Writing Show audience had a night to remember. Author and JRW advisory board chair Virginia Pye moderated the evening, introducing us to veteran novelists and professors Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown, who discussed mining one’s own geographical and personal history as a writer.  (more…)

Five Questions with Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown

Married novelists Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown have spent their working lives writing and teaching side by side in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Sweet Briar College, where John is the Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English and directs the College’s Creative Writing program. Carrie now serves as Distinguished Visiting Professor at nearby Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Carrie and John have published ten books between them and raised three children on the campus at Sweet Briar. 

James River Writers recently spoke with Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown, who discussed “using what you know and where you’re from in fiction” at JRW’s Writing Show on Thursday, April 24. The couple also taught Learning to See: A Master Class for Writers in the Art and Practice of Looking on Friday, April 25.

Five Questions with Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown

Question One:

K: John, you wrote in the voice of a young girl (Meredith Eagen), a woman (Meredith’s stepmother Catherine), and a black man (Murphy Warrington) in your first novel, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, and you earned praise for creating authentic voices for these three characters. Writing in the voice of a person of another race can be risky, and you did not attempt to write Murphy’s dialogue the way a black New Orleans man of his time and class would have spoken. (more…)

Creativity Toolkit: Master Class with Clay McLeod Chapman


clayCreativity Tool Kit: A Master Class with Clay McLeod Chapman.  The author of Tribe: Homeroom Headhunter will offer a fun workshop examining creativity and how to jump-start yours. Hands-on instruction will leave you with concrete take-aways for defeating the blank page!

June 19; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch, not included



Learning To See: A Master Class for Writers in the Art and Practice of Looking

Award-winning authors Carrie Brown and John Gregory Brown offer a shared presentation on writing and art: how art informs and inspires the writer, and how learning to “see” shapes and enriches writing. Participants will see how these two writers learn from the world of visual art. Short writing exercises and shared reading of those exercises will follow the presentations.

Friday, April 25, 2014
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch, not included

St. John’s Church Parish Hall
2401 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Ample free on-street parking is available

$60 for JRW members
$100 for non-members


The Art of the Narrative: Master Class Series with David L. Robbins Back by Popular Demand

David Robbins

Best-selling and award-winning author, professor of creative writing, and co-founder of James River Writers and The Podium Foundation, David L. Robbins will conduct a series of eight short fiction workshops weekly for advanced adult writers. The focus will be on craft, self-editing, and the structural components of good storytelling. Back by popular demand, so reserve your space now! David is generously donating 100% of the proceeds to James River Writers and The Podium Foundation.

Wednesday evenings, 8 sessions
April 9, 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21, 28
6:30-9:15 p.m.
VCU Honors College, 701 W Grace St





Short Story Structure and Brainstorming with Nancy Zafris

Nancy Zafras for webAward-winning author, series editor for the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction, and manuscript consultant, Nancy Zafris will offer a fun and challenging workshop examining short story structure and using in-class prompts to generate new work. Over 40 stories written in Nancy’s workshops from her unique prompts have been published in print and online journals, including The Kenyon ReviewThe JournalMid-American ReviewStoryQuarterly, and many others.

Friday, May 31
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Note the location change:
Visual Arts Center of Richmond
Weinstein Room
1812 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Free parking available both behind the building and on the street