Your Gift Supports A Vibrant Artistic Future!


Please take a moment to reflect on how important James River Writers is to you personally, as well as to the central Virginia writing community as a whole. Our membership and registration fees only cover a portion of our annual expenses. We fill the gaps with sponsorships and donations. Help us continue to play an important role in making the Richmond region a vibrant place for creativity and expression, and make a donation.


2016 Writing Show Season Announced

TWritingShow_logoColorThe 2015 Writing Show season was a success with good attendance, great knowledge and a fantastic venue with our partner Firehouse Theatre.

For 2016, we are staying at Firehouse Theatre and sticking with our last Wednesday of the month from January through September schedule. All the new JRW membership options offer some passes to the Writing Show. If you are a frequent attendee, check with Phil Hilliker at about renewing your membership before the season begins.

Firehouse Theatre, is located at 1609 West Broad Street beginning in February. Free parking is available across the Street from Firehouse in the Lowe’s parking lot.

The programming for 2016 was designed with your comments and suggestions in mind and is adapting to meet your writing craft and business needs.

Entertaining and interactive, The Writing Show has been described as:

  • Inside the Actor’s Studio meets the New York Times bestseller list.
  • The Tonight Show meets the art of writing.

It’s inspiring. It’s fun. And it’s only happening live in Richmond.

Click on the button below for season pass options.
Click here to register today!


6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street


$12 – Members; $15 Non-members ($5 for students)

The 2016 Lineup

(Schedule subject to change due to speaker availability)

January 27 – Surprising Ways to Boost Your Creativity

February 24 – Love at First Line: How to Grab an Agent’s Attention on Page One

March 30 – Blogging in 2016

April 27 – Editing for Dramatic Impact: Mastering the Most Important Moments in Your Story

May 25 – TBA

June 29 – Raising the Bard: 10 Things Any Writer Can Learn from Shakespeare

July 27 – The Secret Mind of an Author: How to think, read, and act like a writer.

August 31 – Strategies for Getting What You Want (i.e. a paycheck) Out of Writing

September 28 – The Power of Imagery: Show, Don’t Tell

Individual show tickets are $12/members and $15/non-members. Two free passes to the Writing Show are included with Traditional Membership or upgrade to the Writing Show Membership to receive a Season Pass for a savings of $47 a year. Already have a membership or want to give the Season Pass as a gift? Nine months of exceptional writing education are available for just $85.

Best Unpublished Novel Contest Winners Announced!

Robin Williams, 1st Place Winner of the Best Unpublished Novel Contest

    Robin Traywick Williams

James River Writers is pleased to announce Robin Traywick Williams of Crozier, for The Key to the Quarter Pole, as the first place winner of the JRW and Richmond Magazine 2015 Best Unpublished Novel Contest. Gail Giewont, and Vivian Lawry, both of Richmond, have been selected as finalists for Unguided and Nettie’s Books, respectively.

The Best Unpublished Novel Contest, initially held in 2008 and now offered every other year, is at the heart of James River Writers’ mission of connecting and inspiring readers and writers. In the alternating years, James River Writers offers the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest and Best Self-published Novel Contest, providing exposure and encouragement to a wide range of Virginia’s author talent.


Thanks for a Fantastic Writing Show!

Our Writing Show on Writing for Girls turned out to be one of our best shows of the year. Thanks to our partners Richmond Young Writers and Girls of Summer.

Special thanks to our panel, which included Sarah McGuire, author of the debut novel Valiant, along with Odessa Hott and M.E. Novak-Ellis, both from Richmond Young Writers. As always, our moderator Rebekah Pierce kept things fun and informative.

Here are some pictures from last night’s show. As you can see, we had a lot of fun.

Photos by Joe Kutchera

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…)

Emyl Jenkins Award Nominations Still 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 – Deadline Extended to August 31, 2015

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


July 29 Writing Show – Novel Ways to Organize your Research




As you gather research for your novel, non-fiction work, article or short story, what are the methods for organizing it?

Our expert panel will discuss software, online and traditional paper storage, and offer tips to help you best access information for your project.



Topics Include

  • Scrivener Writing & Aeon Timeline software.
  • Online storage methods.
  • Paper trail: filing or printing it out.
  • Filing by chapters, projects or topics.
$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students
Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm
Wednesday, July 29th
1609 West Broad Street (free parking at Lowe’s)

Click here to register today!




headshot_jhughesJennifer Hughes provides QA, 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.

Check out her Master Classes Here.



 Bert Ashe is the author of Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles (Agate, 2015), which explores issues of black male identity, black vernacular culture, and black hair by narrating the journey of locking his hair while also exploring the history and cultural resonances of the dreadlock hairstyle in America. He teaches and writes about contemporary American culture, primarily post-Civil Rights Movement African American literature and culture (often referred to as “post-blackness” or the “post-soul aesthetic”), as well as the black vernacular triumvirate of black hair, basketball, and jazz.

FletcherPicHarrison Candelaria Fletcher is the author of Descanso For My Father: Fragments Of A Life(University of Nebraska Press 2012), winner of the Colorado Book Award and International Book Award for Best New Nonfiction. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including New Letters, Fourth Genreand The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. A native New Mexican, he teaches nonfiction in the Virginia Commonwealth University MFA in Writing Program.



Moderator J.T. Glover has published short fiction in The Children of Old Leech, FungiUnderground Voices, and Handsome Devil: Stories of Sin and Seduction, among other venues. He is a member of the board of directors of James River Writers. By day he is an academic research librarian specializing in the humanities, and he pursues research agendas involving creative writers’ research practices, librarianship, and the digital humanities. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and a not inconsiderable number of fur-bearing friends.


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.

Order by 9/20! JRW T-shirts Are Back!

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 every day of the week? Have you been hoping for someone to take conference dresscode decision-making completely out of your hands? Well, you’re in luck! (more…)