James River Writers Conference

Once again, the JRW conference sold out two weeks prior to the event. And the caliber of talent on panels surpassed even the great talent from last year. I continue to be amazed at how many writers reside in Virginia and don’t publicize that fact. Makes me feel like I’m in the right state at the right time.

Most helpful sessions were on marketing your work. I took tons of notes and need to sit down and refine my marketing guidelines for writers. Anyone know how much time (percentage of time) authors spend on marketing and how much time they spend on writing? I’d be interested in your experience.

Sessions that will help improve my writing included ones on setting the scene, detailed character development (particularly putting flesh on secondary characters), dialogue development, serial characters, and point of view.

Writers who shared their thoughts included:

  • Katherine Neville, NYT best seller who says she writes the oldest type of story in the world, the adventure-quest
  • Maggie Stiefvater, a wonderful YA writer who actually seduced me enough to buy Shiver
  • Meg Medina, a middle grade writer whose themes focus on multicultural experiences — she’s Cuban American
  • Dash Shaw, I only wish I loved graphic novels as he does. His Bottomless Bellybutton looked fantastic
  • Gigi Amateau, who got a bit of short shrift when her agent was stricken with the flu upon arrival and had to drop a panel on interaction between writers and their agents, moderated a good panel on the art of the ending.

    I walked away with so many nuggets that my brain felt squished. Unsquished my brain yesterday by not working. Today I’m sorting through the gray cells and putting some of the nuggets to work right away.

    I can’t wait for next year’s conference.

  • 5 thoughts on “James River Writers Conference

    1. Best selling author Steve Berry talked about the time spent selling books vs. time writing them [and researching! since he does fiction laced with a lot of historical elements/people]
      when Katherine Neville had interview with him few days after the Conf. for L.of Va.
      Hopefully JRW will be able to bring him to Conference some time to talk on that. [He's Fabulous! As well as writing interesting books!] If you are interested drop me a line and I'll dig thro' notes I took. [yeah, he's That good!]


    2. Sally, I'll be bringing many of the ideas to Lake Writers next week. The session was a real eye opener and offered some insights on marketing I hadn't thought about. Brain is slowly unsquishing.


    3. I know exactly how you feel. That's what I experienced when I came back from SCBWI New York. Give yourself time to marinate, and I'm thrilled you had such a great experience!


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