What JRW Means to Me

Jeri Watts








Jeri Watts worked as a public school teacher for 27 years. She has written numerous short stories as well as the picture book Keepers. Kizzy Ann Stamps is her first middle-grade novel. She is currently an assistant professor at Lynchburg College.

Jeri will be a speaker at the 2012 JRW Annual Conference. She recently shared how this event contributed to her writing career.


For me, the James River Writers annual conference means:

  • Immersing myself with other writers and the world of writing,
  • Two whole days to be taken seriously,
  • Having other people talk about what I really like to talk about,
  • Overhearing conversations where I understand the threads,
  • Having to make tough choices for workshops (ooh, that sounds good … but that one sounds good, too … rats!)

Most of all, the JRW conference helped me find a publisher for my manuscript!

After I went to a BIG writer’s conference and was told by an agent that the epistolary form just wouldn’t work, I went to a much smaller conference just down the road (more or less) and found a publisher who would actually read my manuscript and worked with me (and liked that letter format).

Thank you, JRW, for being there for all of us who need a spirit of friendliness and a pat on the back to keep us going. The going can get tough at times because the writing world is hard, but keep those beautiful words flowing!

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