Music makes everything better. Learning, working, socializing, healing—everything goes more smoothly with the right song. Why should the James River Writers Conference be any different? We’ve put together a playlist to help you get ready for the conference and you can listen to the JRWCon 2014 playlist on Spotify here:

Track 1: Madness (Muse)

You write because you can’t not write, and we get that. Spending a weekend with people who share this peculiar sort of madness will make you feel sane again (results may vary).

Track 2: A Little Less Conversation (Elvis Presley)

Start off the weekend with our Friday hands-on Master Classes taught by top-notch Page1-3writing instructors and publishing professionals. For example, if you find that your writing needs a little less conversation and a little more action, Sheri Reynolds’s class on pacing can help you with that.

Track 3: Haven’t Met You Yet (Michael Buble)

If you’ve been looking for an agent but you just haven’t met him or her yet, be sure to sign up for a one-on-one appointment with one of the many literary agents attending the conference.

Track 4: Big Time (Peter Gabriel)

We’re super psyched about all the big-time authors, agents, editors, and publishing professionals who will be speaking at the conference. Barbara Kingsolver, Hugh Howey, Sara MacLean, Jane Friedman, Meg Medina, Brian Jay Jones, Lamar Giles, and many more!

Track 5: Southern Voice (Tim McGraw)

This part of the playlist gets into the topics for panels at the conference, like our panel on Southern Literature. Ya’ll’re gonna love it!

Tracks 6, 7, and 8: Demons (Imagine Dragons), Brave (Sara Bareilles), and Digging in the Dirt (Peter Gabriel)

During our “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” panel, you’ll get advice from writers who have learned to be brave and face their demons head-on. Sometimes digging in the dirt is the only way to find what’s real.

Track 9: Poet (Bastille)

We have a strong poetry element at this year’s conference: speakers Tarfia Faizullah, Kwame Alexander, and Ron Smith, for starters.

Track 10: Why Did You Do It? (Stretch)

If you’re struggling to get your characters in sync with your plot, don’t miss our character motivation panel, “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Because Motives Matter.”

Track 11: Who You Are (Jessie J)

Our amazing Young Adult writers will discuss what it takes to capture the adolescent experience, just like this song does. Don’t miss the “What Makes YA YA” panel.

Track 12: I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) (Meatloaf)

Are you doing the right things for love? Get your romantic subplot up to par with help from writers who know their sizzle. We’re talking about the “Romance Across the Genres” panel, of course.

Track 13: The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)

One of our tracks this year is “Writing Life.” If you’re stuck in the middle of a project, the break-out sessions on the Writing Life Track are designed to get you moving again. Other tracks are “Writer’s Craft,” “Publishing Journey,” and “Literature Love.”

Track 14: It’s Your Thing (The Isley Brothers)

If writing is your thing, you belong at the James River Writer’s Conference!

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