James River Writers Conference, 1st Post


This is the first of a couple of blog entries about this annual contest. Over the weekend, I attended my third JRW conference in Richmond, VA. This was the best conference yet. The caliber of writers, editors, agents and panelists exceeded even last year’s great show.

I attended my first workshop put on by JRW. I wanted to learn more about short story writing, so I signed up for a two-hour workshop on structuring a short story. Even through I write novels, I think of each chapter as a short story. It has to have a beginning, middle, and end. It has to have character(s), setting, atmosphere, pacing, dialog, conflict.

Clifford Garstang taught the course. Turns out we share several things in common: a love of the Far East and Japanese literature, membership in the Virginia Writers Club, and head up writers groups affiliated with VWC. I picked up a copy of his linked short story collection. Excellent material and something that has caused loss of sleep — reading it is compelling.

Cliff edits a magazine for flash fiction and short stories. Follow Prime Number Magazine on Facebook. I may have a story worth submitting. Hey, nothing ventured, nothing sprained.

More on the conference in the next post.

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