Writers Conference: Stars on Parade

Photo of Rod BelcherThe 12th Roanoke Regional Writers Conference is less than a week away and once again, we have a lineup that would be the envy of much larger conferences. The conference–Jan. 25 and 26 at Hollins University–will cover a lot of professional writing ground in 17 classes Saturday and sci-fi superstar Rod Belcher’s keynote address Friday, but most important, it will introduce the regions writers to the region’s writers.

Writing is often a solitary venture and the RRWC represents a sort of junior high recess for those most often hunkered down before a white screen, pounding out work on deadline.

Photo of Karen Swallow Prior

Karen Prior

The lineup–all of the teachers from our section of Virginia, one of the richest grounds in the U.S. for writing–is dotted with regional and national stars. Perhaps the fastest rising of those stars is Karen Prior, the Liberty University English professor who has become a fixture in the national media, which covers both her life and her writing on a regular basis (currently, the New Yorker Magazine). Karen, who was nearly killed last year in Nashville on a book tour for her most recent release, On Reading Well, has titled her RRWC class “I thought I Understood Virtue Because I Wrote a Book About It. Then I Got Hit By a Bus.” A laugh a minute, that Karen.

We also feature the following among our classes: Mary Bishop on memoir; Ed Falco on fiction; Mary Hill on young adult writing; Bill Kovarik and I teaming on creating a community publication with integrity and pizazz; Liz Long on getting published;  and Harry Wilson on writing about politics in a toxic environment. There’s much more and the cost is only $65 for the whole shooting match, including lunch Saturday in the Hollins dining room, which I highly recommend.

You can read more about the conference (including a complete list of teachers and their resumes) here.

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