James River Writers and The Jane Austen Society of North America Central Virginia Region kick off the 2015 Writing Show with “Writing Romance like Jane Austen.”

Geared for readers and writers, this panel discussion will tackle Jane Austen’s influence on modern romantic fiction authors’ style and work. The panelists will review romantic genres, discuss writing believable romantic scenes, and explain why writing and reading romance is popular with both men and women.




Jane Austen is considered by many as the pinnacle of romance writing. Sly irony and descriptive prose are only some of the writing techniques that have kept Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility in print and on screen 200 years after their publishing.

Wednesday, January 28, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
(Meet & Greet at 6:00; Program Starts at 6:40)
The Broadberry, 2729 West Broad Street
Ample parking available on street, across the street, and adjacent to the building
$12, members/ $15, non-members in advance or at the door
$5 students at the door

*Please note, this is a day-of-the-week change from previous years.


Scott Southard


Scott D. Southard: Author of A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, and Megan. His new novel Permanent Spring Showers will be published by 5 Prince this February.

Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his patient two children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte.



Catherine Ingrassia


Dr. Catherine Ingrassia: Professor of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British literature at VCU, Richmond, with experience on Jane Austen’s influence on literature. Her books include, British Women Poets of the Long Eighteenth Century and Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing in Britain, 1660-1789.


Leighton Powell headshot #1
Leighton Powell


Leighton Powell: A charter member of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Central Virginia chapter, Leighton visited Bath, England in March to experience firsthand the setting of her favorite novel, Persuasion.





Mary Chris Escobar


Moderator Mary Chris Escobar: A presenter at the 2014 Romance Writers of America Conference and the 2013 JRW Conference, Mary Chris has published two women’s fiction novels, Neverending Beginnings and How to be Alive, as well as a novella, Delayed.





TWritingShow_logoColorThe Writing Show, described as Inside the Actor’s Studio meets the New York Times bestseller list, happens live in Richmond the last Wednesday of the month.The host is James River Writers, a nonprofit whose mission is to build community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.

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