Workshop Calendar


January 13, 2018

Jane Friedman

Midlothian Library
521 Coalfield Road
Midlothian, VA 23114-4406
Doors open at 10:00am
Meeting begins at 10:30am
AM Session: 10:30am-12:00pm The Art and Business of Author Platform
PM Session: 2:00-4:00pm The Basics of Marketing and Promoting Your Work Online

Guest Speaker: Jane Friedman

AM SESSION: The Art and Business of Author Platform

Writers are often baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset—antithetical to the artist mindset. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior (including your own!). You’ll learn what it means to have a focused, consistent and meaningful effort over a long period of time, in a way that doesn’t exhaust you, but leads to finding high-quality readers who love what you do. We’ll discuss metrics that help you make informed and meaningful decisions about how to best spend your time, and what advanced platform building looks like for an established author. And for those wondering about social media, we’ll talk about best practices and how to make your efforts worthwhile. Rather than being driven by trends (or what your friends are doing), we’ll look at how you can make the best decisions for your career.

The Basics of Marketing and Promoting Your Work Online

Learn how to successfully market your own book without the support of a publisher, whether it’s a new or old title. This session will look at key strategies and principles for selling books through online retail (as either a self-published or traditionally published author), and how you can build a plan that’s customized for your work and target audience. Topics covered: how to optimize anything you have available on Amazon; the selection of proper categories and keywords; online advertising options; pros and cons of KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited; how to use pricing/discounting strategically; and more.

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).


February 10, 2018

Guest Speaker: TBA

Location: TBA


Past Meetings




12/9/2017  Canceled due to inclement weather

11/11/2017 Donald Maass—The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface

10/7/2017 Sherry Thomas—Intergenre Fortification

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