Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Killer Lineup for 2013 Writers Conference at Hollns

River Laker: Marketing Guru
The 2013 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference has scored several coups that I just can't hold on to any longer because the excitement level in me has just exploded all over the place.

Kathy Grissom
Let's start with our keynote speaker. It was to have been Gina Holmes, the successful Roanoke novelist, but Gina has a book due Feb. 1 (the conference is Jan. 25-26 at Hollins University) and couldn't put together a talk that quickly.

She is being replaced in that role by Lynchburg writer Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House, which has sold half a million copies worldwide in the past two years. Kathy was also a reluctant keynoter, but agreed to give it her best (she'll teach a class on marketing, as well. Kathy's success with the book is primarily due to her own marketing efforts, even though she has a major publisher).

Gina Holmes
Gina, meanwhile, just came at me with the most scrumptious proposal I've had in a long time. She and River Laker--the Roanoke library promoter who recently resigned because some people in government have little sense of humor--will teach a class on marketing. Who better? These two are so different and so successful with what they do that they will be irresistible.

There's more:
  • Roanoker Greg Trafidlo, the Roanoke folk singer with the huge national reputation, will not only teach a class on songwriting, he will also write a song to open the conference (and my money goes on it being a good song that will stick a tune in your head for days).
  • Floyd's Neil Sagabiel, whose monster golf book was a manuscript without a taker until he learned how to write a proposal, will teach what he learned--and there will be enormous value in that.
  • Tiffany Trent, Angie Smibert and Carrie Brown each has several successful books and a lot of wisdom about the process they will share in their classes. Tif, who writes for young adults, taught a popular class several years ago, but moved out of the area. She's back now. The others are new to the conference.

There are quite a few more writers you'll want to hear this year, even though we've reduced our number of classes from 24 to 20 on Saturday. The classes will be longer (an hour, instead of 45 minutes) and the cost will remain $60 for a wine reception, all those classes, the keynote address, coffee and all the networking and learning you want to do.

The website will be up by Nov. 1 and you can register then. Keep watching for it (it'll be hosted by hollins.edu and will be under "events"). Watch closely. The last two have sold out pretty far ahead of time and my guess is this one will, too.


  1. Looking forward to the conference! Great line up...

  2. Exciting lineup! I will be there with bells on and mind ready to soak it all in!

  3. Lizetta: Please come by and say "hello." You were one of our best presenters one year. Great delivery.