The James River Writers Conference is an annual gathering in Richmond, Virginia, that attracts prize-winning authors and highly regarded editors and literary agents from around the country to share their wisdom about writing and publishing. Since 2003, this multi-day event of 350 to 400 writers, has been known for its inspiring, collegial atmosphere and Southern hospitality.
This year’s conference will be held Saturday and Saturday, October 12, and 13, 2019, with pre-conference Master Classes on Friday, October 11, 2019.
Learn more about our 2019 line-up of speakers, editors, and literary agents.
Early-bird registration is active now through July 31, 2019.
Register early for your choice of Master Classes and to secure one-on-one meetings with a literary agent and a writing coach.
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.
A winner of the 2019 award will be someone who best matches Emyl Jenkins’ efforts to make Virginia a better place for writers, whether by connecting people and/or organizations around the written word, sharing time and expertise about writing, or simply encouraging writers to do what they do.
Nominations accepted May 1 through July 31, 2019
Any Virginia individual is eligible, except for members of the JRW board of directors, the advisory board, or staff.
A good editor doesn’t just check for typos and run-on sentences. They help you see your work in a whole new way—bringing out your writerly strengths and assisting you in giving life to the best version of the story inside you. Every writer is capable of learning the tools that good editors use to do this. This class will show you how to break down your work—looking at it at the level of content, structure, and language to see what’s working for you, and what you may wish to consider differently.
Writer and Life in 10 Minutes Press Executive Editor Elizabeth Ferris will share with participants the questions she uses to approach every manuscript she edits as well as frameworks and tips that have helped other writers achieve their best books, stories, and essays. We’ll read and discuss excerpts from published works and practice analyzing and asking questions about our own writing. Writers of all experience levels will come away with a new ally in their writing process—an inner editing voice that is practiced, compassionate, and effective. For writers of fiction and nonfiction.
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Location: Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
Price: $65 – Members; $80 Non-members
Elizabeth Ferris is an editor, writer, and writing teacher at Life in 10 Minutes and its sister organization, Richmond Young Writers. She currently serves as the executive editor for Life in 10 Minutes Press, a mission-driven small press based in Richmond, Virginia. Elizabeth loves using teaching to make connections with other writers and help writers make connections with each other. Website: elizabethferris.com
JRW is pleased to offer a special, free summer event with JRW member and debut novelist, Karen A. Chase. Her celebrated new book, Carrying Independence, has taken the Richmond literary scene by storm. Weeks before her packed book launch event, she had already sold out the limited-edition pre-order campaign, had an article in Richmond magazine, and been interviewed on radio and podcast programs.
This is your chance to hear for yourself how Karen carefully researched her historical novel to bring the story of the Declaration of Independence to life. Some of the questions Karen can answer for us include, “Why was there just one copy of the Declaration with the signatures?” “Which Continental Congress delegates did not attend the formal signing?” and “How were those signatures acquired?”
What could be more appropriate as we head toward the Fourth of July than hearing about a critical time in our nation’s birth at Historic St. John’s Church, where liberty found its voice!
Date: Tuesday, June 25
Time: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Location: Historic St. John’s Church Parish Hall, 2401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23223
Price: Free, but please R.S.V.P
No one knows the literary scene like bookstore owners and librarians. They can help you connect with an audience, network in publishing, and promote your book — but you have to get to know them first! Are you approaching them the right way? Learn how to build relationships with local bookstore owners and librarians — and how you can support them in turn.
Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Doors open at 6:00; meet & greet 6:00-6:45; program starts at 6:45)
Location: Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23220
Price: $12 – Members; $15 Non-members ($5 for students)
Kelly Justice bought The Fountain Bookstore in January 2008 after managing it since 2000, and she has been a professional independent bookseller since 1989. Kelly is currently serving a third term on the board of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and works regularly with the American Booksellers Association serving on various committees and is a regular speaker at bookseller gatherings on topics ranging from brand building to utilizing the newest technologies for bookstores. In 2019 she was awarded a scholarship to the Turin Book Festival where she addressed Italian booksellers on the topic of Amazon’s effect on the American bookselling market and the potential threats posed by Amazon on international markets in the future. She loves to talk to folks about books, audiobooks, and the book business, food and bev, business and management theory in general (a real geek about that, actually), cats, overproduced action movies, and life. Just ask!
Liz Hottel is the Director of Events and Marketing at Politics and Prose Bookstore. In that capacity, she oversees the curation, production, and marketing of over 1000 author events a year. Her background is in television production and writing, including programs for NBC, BBC, Arte, and Travel Channel.
Sharvette Mitchell helps entrepreneurs who struggle with attracting attention and exposure for their brand and who want to build their online platform. In working with Sharvette, her clients generate more revenue and increase brand awareness. She provides web design services, social media consulting and coaching on digital product & course creation. She is the co-author in two books, Mogul In the Making and Get It Done! Design The Business of Your Dreams and the Visionary author for the upcoming release of the anthology, Propel. Lastly, Sharvette hosts her own radio show each Tuesday that airs on iTunes, her mobile app and internet radio. To find out more, visit www.SharvetteMitchell.com. @sharvette
On July 21, a portion of Flying Squirrels ticket sales will benefit James River Writers. It’s a fantastic way to have an afternoon of family fun while supporting the literary arts in central Virginia. Invite friends, family, and other word lovers to join in!
Tickets will be available at JRW events or online.
Tickets are just $9 for General Admission. (Online purchases include $1.50 service charge and 3% credit card fees.)
First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.
The Diamond is located at 3001 N. Archer Ashe Boulevard, Richmond, VA.