2015 James River Writers Conference – Saturday and Sunday Sessions


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   Conference Tracks
The Pillars of Story TrackThe Pillars
of Story
Plot, pacing, character arcs; follow this track to learn about the fundamental elements that comprise writing a novel from the first word to “the end.”
Diversity in Writing TrackDiversity in Writing Over the past eighteen months, the issue of diversity in writing for kids and teens has blown up on Twitter with the #WNDB (We Need Diverse Books) hashtag. It brought the discussion of diversity in our world and our writing front and center in publishing. Follow this track if you’re interested in writing—and reading—diverse books.
Poetry TrackPoetry James River Writers welcomes the poets among us. Whether you write haiku, slam, or write sonnets, we welcome you. And if you don’t usually write poetry, but filled journal books with your poems years ago, maybe now is the time to get inspired, dust them off, and reconnect with the preciseness of language that is the world of poetry.
Writing for Kids/YA TrackWriting
for Kids/YA
If you’re interested in writing for kids, from picture books on up to complex novels for older adolescents, this track will take you through the ins and outs of writing for this special audience.
Writing as Career 2.0 TrackWriting
as Career 2.0
Write what you know! Follow this track if you’re considering—or are writing—as a second career. Take your life experiences—and use them to make your work richer and fuller. Hear about persistence and those who didn’t give up, which makes success this time around all the more thrilling.

Let your mouse hover over a session’s title to get a more detailed description of it.
To see a complete list of speakers and moderators for each panel, just click here.

   Saturday, October 17th, 2015
8:00 am – 8:45 am Registration & Breakfast
8:45 am – 9:15 am Opening & Welcome
9:15 am – 9:45 am TBD
TED-style talk
10:00 am – 11:00 am Writing for Kids/YA Track and Diversity TrackEllen Oh and I.W. Gregorio: A hashtag, a call for diversity, and what happens when publishing goes viral You Got This: Speaking, Networking, and Promoting Your Writing (even for the introverted writer) Writing as Career 2.0 TrackYour Life or TMI?: Writing Your Personal Story Poetry TrackPreparing for the Stage and the Page: Written versus Spoken Word
11:15 am – Noon Pillars of Story TrackThe Anatomy of a Thriller Poetry TrackIs It Really Dead? The Power and Relevance of Poetry in the 21st Century Writing as Career 2.0 TrackWriting for Career 2.0: Using Your Life Experiences in Launching and Expanding Your Writing How to Interview: Point/
12:15 pm – 1:45 pm Library of Virginia’s Literary Awards Luncheon
The Library of Virginia’s annual Literary Luncheon features medal announcements for all 2015 Library of Virginia Literary Award finalists and their Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Library of Virginia Literary Awards Finalists: Fiction Library of Virginia Literary Awards Finalists: Non-Fiction Poetry TrackLibrary of Virginia Literary Awards Finalists: Poetry Writing for Kids/YA TrackFinding Your Inner Child: Writing for Kids and Young Adults with Authenticity
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm How To Locate, Lure, and Land the Right Agent Poetry TrackTo MFA or Not to MFA: Virtues and Vices of the Academic Route Diversity in Writing TrackWriting Diversity into Your Fiction: Representing the Larger World in Fiction, the How and Why 50 Shades of Red: Writing Erotica


   Sunday, October 18th, 2015
8:00 am – 8:45 am Registration & Breakfast
8:45 am – 9:00 am Opening & Welcome for Day Two
9:00 am – 10:00 am First Pages
Two agents and an editor will listen to and critique first pages read aloud (anonymously) by one of our “semi-professional” readers—and then offer comments on the spot. Do the pages grab the reader? Do they establish the voice, mood, and scene? Do they align with the genre in which they would be shelved? Is the character intriguing? Do those pages wow us?
Listen as three experts give us insights into how they think. Those insights will lead to ah-ha moments—and who knows? Your first pages just may be read—will your pages quiet the room into silence and awe? Will we laugh at the right places? And gasp at the hook?
10:15 am – 11:15 am Traditional, Independent/ Small House, Self-Publish? Or Hybrid? Poetry TrackMaking Every Word Count Pillars of Story TrackCapturing a Sense of Time and Place Pillars of Story TrackRaising the Stakes: Writing Conflict in Your Fiction
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Writing the Nonfiction Proposal: How to craft the perfect proposal to hook an agent or land a deal Writing as Career 2.0 TrackOvercoming Rejection and Career Ups and Downs: Persistence, Patience and Tenacity in Your Writing Life Pillars of Story TrackA Fine Romance Writing for Kids/YA TrackABCs of Picture Books for Kids
1:45 pm – 2:30 pm If You Write It, They Will Come (and Read): Promo and Social Media in the New Publishing Climate Writing the Perfect Query Writing for Kids/YA TrackCan You Go There: Serious themes in YA Pillars of Story TrackCreating Memorable Characters: Writing the Characters Readers Hold in the Hearts
2:45 pm – 4:30 pm PITCHAPALOOZA!
Pitchapalooza returns to the James River Writers Conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to be selected at random to pitch their book to the Book Doctors and literary agent Rebecca Podos. Each writer gets one minute—and only one minute! Many writers have gone from talented amateurs to professionally published authors as a result of participating in Pitchapalooza.
4:30 pm – 4:45 pm Awards and Closing
Join us in celebrating the winners of the Best Unpublished Novel Contest, the Emyl Jenkins Award, and Pitchapalooza.

* Panels and panelists are subject to change without notice.