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We supply the topics and the experts. You bring your questions!

James River Writers is pleased to announce that ShopTalk is returning with the 18th Annual JRW Conference to get face-to-face advice from professionals in the fields of writing, publishing, and promotion.

Attendees who buy a ShopTalk Pass will be able to drop-in to the ShopTalk “room” during any of the seven, one-hour periods the room will be open over the course of the two-day conference. Stay ten minutes or the whole hour chatting informally with writing professionals about your writing questions.

Each hour, seven professionals will be available to talk with you about a variety of topics from writing for kids and teens to deciphering metadata and everything in between! 

Room monitors will be on hand to be sure no one “table” is overwhelmed and that ShopTalk attendees have a chance to chat with the professionals.
To participate in Shoptalk, you must be registered for the conference and select a $50 add-on pass when you submit your registration form. Only a limited number of ShopTalk add-on passes will be sold. If you buy the add-on, we will email instructions to you closer to the conference date.
All-inclusive JRW members are automatically given ShopTalk access and do not need to pay extra.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Session 1: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

  • Entertainment Law with Joni Davis
  • Pitches with M.M. Finck
  • Author Websites with Nate Hoffelder
  • Writing for Kids and Teens with Lana Krumwiede
  • Accounting for Authors with David Robinson, CPA

Session 2: Saturday, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Be Your Book’s Best Publicist with Stacy Hawkins Adams
  • Setting as Character with Heather Bell Adams
  • Query Letters with Melissa Sinclair
  • Microfiction with Ran Walker
  • Psychoanalyze your Character with Helen Foster

Session 3: Saturday, 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

  • Publishing with Small and Uni Presses with Heather Bell Adams
  • Metadata with Kristi Tuck Austin
  • Action Scenes with Bill Blume
  • Envisioning Success: How To Successfully Launch a Writing Project with Lisa Ellison
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals with Maya Smart

Session 4: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Fan Fiction with Jean Anderson
  • World Building with Bill Blume
  • Query Letters with M.M. Finck
  • First Draft Hacks with Lana Krumwiede
  • Podcasting with Sharvette Mitchell

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Session 5: Sunday, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with Jean Anderson
  • DocuPoetry with Wendy DeGroat
  • Pitches with M.M. Finck
  • Freelance Writing with Melissa Sinclair
  • How to Write Your Bio Blurb with Katharine Herndon

Session 6: Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Book Cover Design with Phillip Hilliker
  • Memoir with Annette Marquis
  • Strategies for Getting Your Story on the Page with Rebekah Pierce
  • Author/Agent Relationship with Katarina Spears
  • Fiction vs. Nonfiction with Kristen Green

Session 7: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • Surviving the Messy Middle with Lisa Ellison
  • Query Letters with M.M. Finck
  • Building a Platform Before the Sale with Katarina Spears
  • Researching and Getting it Right with Terese Svoboda
  • Nonfiction for Kids with Marc Aronson