Fist fights, street chases, and scenes from our world’s war zones—action scenes can be tricky territory for writers. On one hand, it can be the culmination of built-up tension, the place where the author’s promise is delivered. On the other, a heightened sense of urgency can drive the reader to skim over a blow-by-blow description to get to the result. How much detail is too much? And how can an author keep the readers’ attention while staying true-to-life, in fiction and non-fiction? (Sponsorships available)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meet & Greet at 6:00; program starts at 6:45)


Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street


$12 – Members; $15 Non-members ($5 for students)

Click here to register today!



Malik Hodari

Three photos of Malik_Hodari

Malik Hodari is a lawyer and a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam, where he served from October 1966 to October 1967. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harris Stowe State Teachers University, a master’s from Michigan State University, and a law degree from North Carolina Central University. Hodari joined the Mighty Pen Project on the recommendation of his Veterans Affairs therapist and began to write about his memories, some of which were suppressed for many years. He found healing in the process and hopes his story will help others.

Erika Orloff

Erica Orloff headshotErica Orloff is the author of the popular Magickeepers series. She writes for YA and adult readers and has had over 25 novels published. She is also the author of the Pushcart-nominated “Choose Me.” Erica has worked in publishing since 1985 as a book editor, book doctor, ghostwriter, and book packager, and acts as a writing coach, as well as being an in-demand speaker.  Her most recent publication is a short story in the anthology River City Secrets. She co-owns Editing for Authors, and its sister-company (and publisher) Dragon Tree Books. She can be found at

Bill Blume

Bill Blume headshot

Bill Blume discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. He’s the author of the young adult Gidion Keep, Vampire Hunter series. The latest book in the series Gidion’s Blood was published by Diversion Books. His short stories have been in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County Police and has done so for more than a decade. He’s also a board member for James River Writers and served as the board’s chair in 2013. @BilltheWildcat


Kris Spisak

Kris Spisak headshotWith degrees from the College of William & Mary and the University of Richmond, Kris Spisak began her career as a college writing instructor; however, after six years in the classroom, she transitioned to professional writing and editing. Helping writers sharpen their craft was the driving force behind her book Get a Grip on your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused (Career Press, 2017). Kris is also pursuing the publication of her first novel.