June 24th Writing Show – Writing for Girls

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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, May 27th

FIREHOUSE THEATRE

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.

Emyl Jenkins Award Nominations Now Open

Emyl Jenkins 1941-2010

To honor the memory of Emyl Jenkins, who passed away in 2010, James River Writers presents an award to an outstanding individual who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.

An advocate for writers and their readers, Emyl had a knack for connecting both people and organizations. She shared her time and expertise with everyone she encountered. She encouraged writers at all levels, especially fledglings trying to get those first words down on the page. Her generous spirit and enthusiasm rubbed off on everyone she touched, and, like ripples in a pond, her actions widened the circle of writing encouragement.

Award Details

Any Virginia individual is eligible, except for members of the JRW board of directors, the advisory board, or staff.

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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!
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March Writing Show Recap and Query Examples

By Kellie Larsen Murphy

Life After Rejection: What To Do Before You Query Again

No matter how accomplished a writer is, he or she is bound to have experienced some rejection along the way. This month’s writing show, Life After Rejection, focused on query letter rejection and how to manage it, learn from it, and try, try again.

JRW’s Karen Chase opened the show with a story of one author’s path to success, littered with 61 rejections. Along the way, she heard, “There is no market for this tired writing.” After finally landing an agent (61 rejections later), her book was picked up by a publisher in only three weeks! That author was Kathryn Stockett and the book, The Help. (more…)

April Writing Show – The Author Website: Build it to Build a Following.

web design word cloudA great author website doesn’t have to be complicated. Find out how to build a website that can showcase your work to publishing professionals and help you connect with readers.

Topics our experts will discuss include

  • What are the must-haves for the author website
  • When to bring in a professional
  • Blog subscriptions versus newsletter email lists
  • How to fund your author website, or use it to find funding
  • Adding social media and blogs
  • Press packages, FAQ documents

When: Wednesday, April 29, 6:00 pm

Where: Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street(Parking available across the street in the Lowe’s lot)

Price: $12 for Members, $15 for non-Members, $5 for Students

Click here to register today!

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BUN Judges Only

To access the online form, click here.

Best Unpublished Novel Winner Now a Published Author!

Kirsten Lopresti

Kirsten Lopresti

Kirsten Lopresti, winner of the 2009 Best Unpublished Novel (BUN) Contest, credits the feedback she received from judge and author Susann Cokal for helping her elevate her winning entry into an acclaimed debut novel, Bright Coin Moon, published in November by Sky Pony Press.

Cokal describes Bright Coin Moon as “Anywhere But Here for a new decade. Lopresti hits all the high notes in a story that’s wrenching, ripping, and often laugh-out-loud funny.”

We caught up with Lopresti to learn more about her novel, talk about the impact of James River Writers, and highlight the power of contests for writers. (more…)

Order by 5/3! JRW T-shirts Are Back!

unnamed (6)unnamed (5)Have you been longing for the day when the James River Writers’ t-shirt campaign would return with new colors so that you could wear a different JRW tee almost every day of the week? Have you been hoping for witty, good-looking designs that match your savoir faire? Well, you’re in luck! (more…)