It was most definitely a night to be remembered. No, I’m not talking about your junior prom or graduation day, silly, but about the 2013 June on the James, our annual fundraising soirée, held on the evening of Thursday, June 6.

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Check out Facebook for more snapshots of the event as well as photobooth pictures!

Hosted by Shann Palmer and again held at the gorgeous Dominion Riverfront Complex, the night was studded with fabulous food, tempting silent auction wares and JRDub-bers in their chic and sophisticated finest mixing & mingling. But that’s just the tip of this metaphorically bedecked iceberg: the fête also boasted live art by Eugene Vango, live music by the Carytown Ramblers, photography by Mara Dovis, a fortuneteller, a raffle, and, yes, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

An evening of class, laughs, and general literary high-jinks indeed… as well as some serious celebration: dynamic duo Sophia Volpi and Louise Ball were applauded as individual winners of the 2013 Emyl Jenkins Award for their work championing writers in the Charlottesville community, and Hampton Roads Writers took home the Jenkins prize for organizations. The Emyl Jenkins Award contest is held annually in remembrance of Emyl, her generous nature, and her dedication to community.

But the honors didn’t end there. Also on hand to receive our admiration were the finalists of this year’s Best Unpublished Novel Contest. JRW cheered for runners-up Derek Kannemeyer and Phyllis Haislip and applauded winner Laura Long. The BUN contest is held biennially and includes publication in Richmond Magazine for the first place entry. Congratulations again to you all!

Not long after the clapping died away, the live auctioning commenced. On the block was everything from a beach house week to dinners-slash-book talks with local celebrity authors. And let’s not forget that Game of Thrones beer. As the JRW’s major yearly fundraiser, the night was an absolute success, thanks in large part to the generosity of our hosts, sponsors, attendees, volunteers, and live and silent auction donors.

As the festivities wound down and the revelers departed in pairs and knots of socially satiated novelists, poets and writers of every ilk, the Dominion Complex seemed to lose a little of its magic. The river outside its walls flowed on as ever, though: raw and breathtaking, under skies that continued to threaten storm.

Or maybe it was just that even the skies would miss Shann as auctioneer.

— By JRW Board Member Joanna Lee


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