Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lineup Set for 2013 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference

I finally put the lid on the 2013 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference today and the lineup is our best in the six years of this popular conference at Hollins University Jan. 25-26.

The conference features more than 20 classes on Saturday following a wine reception and keynote address, along with the introduction of teachers, Friday evening. Lunch is part of the $60 cost of the entire package.

This year we're heavy in the classroom with authors, most notably our keynote speaker Kathleen Grissom, who wrote the blockbuster (half a million copies sold in the last two years) The Kitchen House, whose movie rights have been sold.

Kathy is a newcomer to writing, although she's in her 60s. She's been an ad exec, a farmer, a shop owner and a nurse, but her heart has been in writing for some time. Her book's first run was a bit over 11,000 copies from a major publisher, but she wanted more than that, so she designed her own marketing program and it went BANG! almost immediately. Kathy will speak about writing and she will also teach a class on marketing your work.

Among the others who have significant books in the market right now are Neil Sagebiel, Bill Kovarik, Mollie Cox Bryan, Matthew Vollmer, Tiffany Trent, Gina Holmes, Brooke McGlothlin, Jim Minnick, Carrie Brown, Amanda Cockrell, Angie Smibert and Roland Lazenby, whose new biography of Michael Jordan is being prepared for publication. It's expected to be a huge seller.

The RRWC concentrates its efforts in this region, recruiting writers and teachers from a 100 mile radius of Roanoke where I believe the talent is as good as it is anywhere in the country. This year is a clinic in that belief.

The conference will open this year with music written and performed by Greg Trafidlo, a Roanoke folk musician with a national reputation. He's writing us a song and teaching a class in writing music.

There's something for a lot of you with this year's conference and let me urge you to register as soon as the website allows you to do that. I'll put up the URL as soon as it's ready. The last two have sold out early, leaving some teary people on the other end of my telephone. I don't want that again. There's enough to do without having to be a mama, too. Below is the 2013 schedule. 

2013 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference Schedule

Reception (Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center)
6:15 p.m. Networking
7 p.m. Welcome, Hollins President Nancy Oliver Gray
7:15 p.m. Introduction of teaching staff and Friday speakers and presentation of scholarship award, Dan Smith
7:40: Greg Trafidlo, A song for our conference
8 p.m. Kathleen Grissom, “Becoming a Writer”

Classes (Dana Science Building)
8:30-9:30 a.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Gina Holmes and River Laker
“10 Things You Can Do Now to Promote the Book You Haven't Even Sold Yet”
Room 114, Bill Kovarik, Author, Radford University Professor
“Why New Media Changes the Way We Write and What We Can Do About It”
Room 142, Mollie Cox Bryan, Novelist, Cookbooks
Writing Cookbooks”
9:45-10:45 a.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Neil Sagebiel, Author, Journalist
“Refining the Pitch for Your Book”
Room 102, Michael Miller, VTKnowledgeworks, Freelance writer and photographer
“Hahahahahahaa: Writing Humor”
Room 114, Erin Ashwell, Jay O’Keeffe, Roanoke attorneys
“Legal Protections for Writers”
Room 142, Matthew Vollmer, Author, Assistant Professor Virginia Tech
How to Construct Stories That Masquerade as Other Forms of Writing
11 a.m.-Noon
Babcock Auditorium, Kathleen Grissom, Novelist
“Marketing Your Own Work”
Room 114, Tom Field, Publisher
“Our Favorite Writer-Marketers: How Good Writers Promote Themselves with Greatness"
Room 142, Christina Koomen, Freelance Writer, Designer, Former Publisher
“Making Your Photos Better”

Noon, Lunch in Hollins Dining Hall, Moody Center

1-2 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Michael Abraham, Author, Businessman
"Experiences and Options in Self-Publishing"
 Room 102, Brooke McGlothlin, Author
“Self-Publishing: How and Why”
Room 114, Greg Trafidlo, Troubadour
“Structuring Song”
Room 142, Tiffany Trent, Young Adult Novelist, Educator
“Writing Dark Fantasy and Horror for Young Adults”

2:15-3:15 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Jim Minnick, Author
“The diverse Ways Writers Manipulate Time on the Page”
Room 102, Carrie Brown, Novelist, Professor
"Visual Images as the Source of Stories"  
Room 114, Dan Casey, Journalist, Columnist
“Telling Stories”
Room 142, Rachael Garrity

“Self-Publish: Wince or Win?”
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Amanda Cockrell, Author, Professor
“The Craft of the Art”
Room 102, Roland Lazenby, Author, Professor
"Developing Ideas That Publishers Will Buy”
Room 142, Angie Smibert, Author, Professor
“Selling Your Young Adult Novel 101”
4:45-5:30 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium: Panel Discussion
The Evolving Art of Blogging (Moderator Tom Field; Tentative panelists Betsy Ashton, Dan Casey, Cherie Reich, Dan Smith, Janeson Keeley)