Workshop Calendar


October 7, 2017


Twin Hickory Library

5001 Twin Hickory Road

Glen Allen, VA 23059

Meeting 9am-1pm

Due to brevity of time we will go right into the meeting when the doors open.

Guest Speaker: Sherry Thomas

INTERGENRE FORTIFICATION:  What makes a mystery a page-turner? Or a fantasy? And can you apply the same techniques to produce an unputdownable romance? Sherry Thomas shares what she has learned from working in several genres to help you craft a crackalicious love story.

Followed immediately by REVISIONS:  Few things fill Sherry Thomas with as much dread as a detailed critique coming back from her critique partner, who is dedicated, talented, and blunt. If she provides 500 comments, there might be three compliments and the rest must be dealt with one way or the other.  This is a story of survival. Of panic, torment, and the triumph–at times–of pure cussedness.

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.


November 11, 2017

Guest Speaker: Donald Maass
The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface


John Tyler Community College Midlothian Campus
800 Charter Colony Parkway, Midlothian, VA, 23114
Hamel Hall, Room H-109

$40 for VRW Members, $50 RWA Members, $60 All other participants
Registration opens for VRW members on 9/21/17
Registration opens for all other members on 10/1/17
We have reached capacity. REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

The emotional effect on readers is a craft. Based on psychological research and study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, this intensive workshop takes participants beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers–one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable. This is an intensive hands-on workshop for advanced fiction writers. Participants should bring a WIP and writing materials.

Donald Maass is a literary agent in New York. Donald Maass’s agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009), Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012), and The Emotional Craft of Fiction (2016). He is a past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.


December 9, 2017

VRW Holiday Party


January 13, 2018

Guest Speaker: Jane Friedman

Location: TBA

Publishing consultant Jane Friedman will teach you the principles and techniques for building your author platform—particularly online—and marketing and promoting your own work, whether traditionally or self-published, using the many new tools and platforms now available to writers.


BIO of guest speaker:

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, CBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at Jane has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Past Meetings


9/09/2017 Grace Burrowes  & Joanna Bourne—Ten Tweaks to Perk Up Your Prose

6/10/2017 Kit Wilkinson—The Power of Romance and the Women Who Write It

5/13/2017 Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary Agency—Everything You Need to Know About Finding a Literary Agent

4/08/2017 Lori Wilde—Stepping Stones on the Path to Career Success

3/11/2017 Madeline Martin—Crafting Your Critique & Abigail Sharpe—Write Tight: Eliminating the Unnecessary from Your Manuscript.

2/11/2017 Angele McQuade—Cash & Creativity: Good Finances Spark Creativity.
Linda Budzinski, Tina Glasneck, & Jessica Ruddick—Journey to Publication Panel.

1/14/2017 Fiona Quinn—Making a Move: Characters Colliding in Our Plots


12/10/2016 Mary Burton—Guest Speaker for Holiday Party

11/12/2016 Scott Silverii—Police vs. Sheriff & Liliana Hart—The Future of Self-Publishing

10/8/2016 Due to hurricane Matthew, Madeline Martin & Abigail Sharpe will appear in March 2017.

09/10/2016 Hope Ramsay—Using Character Archetypes to Find the Love Story

06/11/2016 Carolyn Greene & Cynthia Holt Johnson—Guest Speakers for VRW Awards Luncheon

05/14/2016 Mindy Klasky—Organizational Tools For Writers & Kathleen Connor—Search & Rescue Dogs

04/09/2016 Lyz Kelley—Business Planning & Diane Gaston—Polish Your Writing

03/12/2016 Sadeqa Johnson—Pursuing Your Passion & BIAY Kick-off

02/13/2016 Bethany Burke, Blushing Books & Love Between the Covers Screening

01/09/2016 Alexa Day—Self Confidence Workshop & Mary Behre Using Vision Boards


12/12/15 Cathy Maxwell—Guest Speaker Holiday Luncheon

11/14/15 Mary Buckham—All Day Workshops

10/10/15 Valerie Bowman—Romance Novel Marketing 101

9/12/15 Jane Friedman—Write a Query That Gets Manuscript Requests

6/13/15 Kieran Kramer—Awards Luncheon Guest Speaker

5/09/15 Joyce Lamb—How to Get the Media to Fall in Love with You (and Your Book) Alleyne Dickens—Everything I Know About Pitching I Learned at the Dog Show (Part 2)

4/11/15 J.T. Bock—Some Assembly Required: A Whedonite’s Guide to Characterization

3/14/15 Avery Flynn—Street Team Savvy & Alleyne Dickens—Everything I Know About Pitching I Learned at the Dog Show (Part 1)

02/14/15 Mary Burton—Writing Your Novel One Draft at a Time (All Day)

01/10/15 Mary Behre—Writing Contests: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck & Tracey Livesay—The Language of Romancelandia