The Writing Show

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Pencil by Kevin Yuan


Have you reached the point when you can’t look at your manuscript a moment longer? It may be time for a fresh pair of eyes—and not just anyone’s. But what does working with a professional editor entail, and how will you feel about the result?

The latest in James River Writer’s Writing Show series delves deep into the editing process that resulted in the publication of Virginia Pye’s debut novel. River of Dustselected as an Indie Next Pick and to be released on May 14, has been hailed by Annie Dillard as “terrific, tremendous, wonderful…a strong, beautiful, deep book.”

Pye, local to Richmond, and her editor, visiting award-winning author Nancy Zafris, a manuscript consultant and series editor for the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction, will share the details of their successful collaboration. Patty Smith, a short fiction and nonfiction writer and teacher, will moderate the discussion about what had to change and Pye’s 20-year writing journey.


VirginiaPyeforWebVirginia Pye has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught writing at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. A three-term chair of James River Writers and member of the Advisory Board, she writes award-winning short stories that have appeared in numerous literary magazines including The North American Review, Failbetter, The Baltimore Review and Tampa Review. She has been awarded fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Acadia Summer Arts Program, and has attended the Tin House’s Writer’s Conference. Her debut novel, River of Dust, will be published in May 2013 by Unbridled Books and is an Indie Next Pick for May 2013.


NancyZafrisforWeb2Nancy Zafris is an award-winning author, series editor for the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction, and manuscript consultant. Her first collection of short stories, The People I Know, won the Flannery O’Connor award as well as the Ohioiana Library Association award. Her two novels are the The Metal Shredders, a New York Times notable book, and Lucky Strike, a BookSense notable. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and has taught at many universities, including Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic as a Fulbright Fellow. Each June she teaches at the Kenyon Review summer writer’s workshop, where she is also associate director. Her new collection of short stories, The Home Jar, was published in April 2013.


PattySmithforWebPatty Smith is a writer and teacher of American literature and creative writing at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg, VA.  A Massachusetts native, she received her MFA in fiction from VCU in 2001.  Her short fiction has been published in various literary magazines and her nonfiction has appeared in various anthologies including Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing, University of Wisconsin Press, 2009 and Tied in Knots: Funny Stories from the Wedding Day, Seal Press, 2006.


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