Romance is likely; strike up a conversation!

SNARKY REPONSE: Just hope no one decides to strike you back! Fresh!

Romance is likely; strike up a conversation!

In a way, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing all week-end at the James River Writers Writing Conference. This three-day event was held at the Richmond Convention Center and featured a diverse cast of talented speakers on a plethora of informative panels. And everyone from feature speakers to first-time attendees are in the throes of a serious romance with the written word in all her glorious forms.

From the welcome session to the closing 10th Anniversary Celebration, I was surrounded by writers seeking better ways to woo their chosen muse. Conversations always included the key question: “What do you write?” offering everyone the opportunity to share their love affair with writing openly with others who could understand and share the attraction.

View of the Conference Marketplace
Some of my takeaways were:
  • Poetry Warm Up provided by author and performance poet, Allan Wolf, challenged us to consider where we were going to place our “pea of truth”
  • Our First Page HAS to set place, person, and plot
  • Resist the urge to edit while writing that “shitty first draft” – something that’s often easier said than done
  • Your blog should be the home page of your website to provide fresh renewed content for visitors with suggested updates of once a week at least, though daily (a concept that boggled my mind) would possibly annoy your readers – as Sabrina tells Linus in one my favorite movie quotes “sometimes more is just more”
  • Your website “Contact Me” should not be a form but an actual “professional” email address – visitors are put off by the impersonal form
  • Successful agent/editor queries are based on careful research – know who they are and why your book would fit their niche

While there were many wonderful pieces to the event, I felt it was beautifully book-ended by the Saturday First Pages critique, an always insightful though oft painful reading & critique of anonymous first pages and the Sunday Pitchapalooza where we listened to brave souls give a one-minute pitch in front of the entire assembly for critique by The Book Doctors and Alec Shane, agent.

If you’ve never been to the JRW Writers Conference, please be sure to put it on your short list for 2013.

About Denise Golinowski

I write "Fantasy with a Kiss of Romance" and love reading same. I hope that together we can share our experiences - likes and loves - as we read and I write, together.

Posted on October 22, 2012, in agents, blog, blogging, critique, editors, James River Writers, James River Writers Conference, Pitchapalooza, pitching, query, Richmond Convention Center, website, writers, Writing, writing conference. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. succinctly & elegantly put, Denise!

  2. Good morning, Joanna! Thank you so much for dropping in and commenting. It was wonderful seeing you and “working” together. I hope you have a wonderful week and that I see you soon!

  3. Another wonderful post, Denise! I love looking at my Monday fortune cookie. 🙂 Thanks for sharing such nuggets from the conference. I'm sorry that I missed it, but loved the wisdom of “Our First Page HAS to set place, person, and plot.” Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for dropping in Tina! Glad to share the wealth. In fact, try to stop by all week as I share more of my notes Tuesday – Friday. Seriously, the JRWC is a Must Do IMHO!

  5. Blog as first page of website — I haven't updated my blog since February! That could be a problem. 🙂 I get the point though, to frequently update your content so people can see that you're active. (

  6. I hear you, Leah. Thankfully, my “website” is my blog so I just need to maintain my momentum. The Fortune Cookie had kept me accountable and pretty much on task. Admittedly, its just a tiny audience, but it's mine! Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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