Executive Director

Writer and JRW Executive Director Katharine HerndonKatharine Herndon was a fan of James River Writers even before they hired her. She has attended all thirteen conferences and well over sixty Writing Shows, and she plans to improve on that number in 2016. She was on the board for several years in a variety of roles, including executive secretary, co-chair of the 2011 conference committee (with the wonderful Valley Haggard), and membership chair. Prior to becoming employed at JRW, Katharine taught middle school language arts for thirteen years. Her favorite bits were Shakespeare and poetry, and she was in a minority in this. Katharine’s work has been published by RVA indie press Sink/Swim in The Great Richmond Zombie Book and appears in the anthology River Town, edited by Eric L. Douglas. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, Davidson College, and St. Catherine’s School.

Program Director

Photo of Annette Marquis

Annette Marquis dreamed of being a creative writer and knew she would be, as soon as she could find the right notebook, perfect pen, or light enough laptop to write anywhere. After co-authoring 29 software books (or were they doorstops?), she finally said, “Enough with the technical writing!” Blogging her experiences working in a Red Cross shelter in Hattiesburg, MS, after Hurricane Katrina started her on a path that led to an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College. She is the author of one book from her new, intentionally creative life, Resistance: A Memoir of Civil Disobedience in Maricopa County. In addition, excerpts from her Katrina blog were published in The Women of Katrina: How Gender, Race, and Class Matter in an American Disaster. In yet another life, Annette has an MSW from Boston University and has worked in addictions treatment, mental health crisis intervention, and faith-based social justice organizing. She lives in Lakeside with her poet-wife Wendy.

Membership Coordinator


Phillip Hilliker tinkered with writing for several years in private, huddled over his computer, not admitting to anyone beyond his wife that he wanted to be a writer. Before becoming JRW’s membership coordinator, James River Writers was the supportive community he needed to fully embrace the authorial side of his personality. Beyond writing, he has spent many years as a freelance illustrator and work-at-home dad while also teaching illustration courses at Visual Arts Center of Richmond. This combination of occupations means he spends a majority of his time thinking about monsters and robots. He lives in a demanding fixer-upper house with his wife and kid.