Sunday, January 26, 2014

Photo Essay: 2014 RRWC in Review

Carrie Brown's class was jammed to the doorways.
The Judy Ayyildez, over-the-glasses pose.
Bums on the park bench: Bill Kovarik, Keith Ferrell (a couple of dandy authors with bad shoes).
Beth Macy talks about her new book.
Sci-fi guy Rod Belcher teaches his class.
Professorial Doug Cumming of W&L.
Sheri Reynolds' class in Babcock (where are the middle school students?).
Sarah Beth Jones never stops laughing.
Bonnie Cranmer, RRWC Co-MVP.
Sheri Reynolds taught her whole class like this.
Attentive in Karen Prior's class.
High-tech note-taking.
Teresa Sakasegawa: low-tech note taking.
Rod belcher ponders ... something or other.
Teacher Cara Modisett had a grand time.
Keith Ferrell points something out.
Lawyer Keith Finch gets serious about protecting writers.
Liz Long chatting up a storm.
Tiffany Trent relaxes.
Alice de Sturler, Karen Chase: teachers to students.
Greg Trafidlo taught how to write music.
13-year-old Kyoko Leaman was the youngest student at RRWC.
Photographer Rob Jones taught his craft. (AS)
Director Dan Smith greets Libby Cumming. (AS)
Rod Belcher's shoes: Rod does sci-fi; who'da thunk it? (AS)
Greg Trafidlo and his band. (AS)
Opening night entertainment: Trafidlo, Brown, Reynolds, Smith, Kelly. (AS)
2014 RRWC symbol: the quill. (AS)
The 2014 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference is in the books now; the director's worn to a fraz; the students seemed to be happy; the teachers enjoyed the delight of focused, interested students; and the region's writing community grew ever closer.

It was, as usual, a complete delight for me as founding director. I get to pull all this together by bringing in old friends, making new ones and introducing them all to each other. It is a true joy and we'll do it again next year, Jan. 30 and 31 at Hollins.

We've already begun piecing together the roster of teachers, hoping to ensure a seventh straight sellout of the conference. If you have any suggestions of local/regional authors you'd like to see in the lineup, let me know.

Above is a look at some of what went on.

(Photos marked AS by Anne Sampson. Others by moi.)


  1. The conference this year was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

  2. This was a great conference, not only because of the wide range of subject matter and the excellent quality of presenters from throughout the region, but also, and perhaps most of all, because of the well-defined schedule, meeting spaces, good food, and the fun and friendly atmosphere. There was extraordinary exchange of information and ideas in sessions, on the floor between sessions, and a, "I am at your disposal to share whatever I have learned about writing, marketing," and the other concerns of authors--whether they are fresh sprouts or seasoned grass like some of us. At the end of the day, all I wanted to do was have a bite to eat and hit the sack. I was so full of warm memories, ideas, and gratitude that I have been allowed to be in such a life rewarding profession. Thanks, Dan, for all of your remarkable year-long planning on this (again, sold out) event--an event that makes the Roanoke Region a richer place in which to live. In this time of so much emphasis on those that have and those who are struggling, I was so aware that one of the things most authors share is that they don't spend all of those long hours at the computer (or typewriter) for the love of money. Of course, we all have to find ways to get what it takes to pay the rent. I don't mean to discredit that subject. I will just say that the majority of authors agreed that they are tied to writing because they love creating, love reading, and love trying to make some sense and form of what it means to be alive. The key word, of course, is love.

  3. I really enjoyed this conference, Dan! I thought the presenters and speakers were really entertaining, as well as knowledgable and creative. Thanks again for everything and I am already looking forward to next year!