January 23: Roanoke Regional Writers Conference

roland lazenby and me
Conference director Dan Smith (left) and author and biographer Roland Lazenby.

UPDATE: The conference has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 30, due to an expected snowstorm.

The 2016 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference is on Saturday, January 23, at Hollins University. (For details, schedule and to register, go here.)

Twenty or so writers, authors, journalists and publishing professionals will speak and teach classes on a range of topics, including yours truly. This is the ninth edition of the popular writers conference.

More from conference director Dan Smith:

The conference, which has been held over two days for the past eight years and has featured 24 classes each year, has slimmed down in every respect for the coming year. The entire conference will be contained on Saturday and the number of classes will be trimmed to a more manageable 18. The cost of the conference has also been reduced to $65, including lunch on Saturday in the Hollins dining room.

This year’s featured topic is blogging and there will be three classes held for those interested in beginning a blog or improving the one they have (including increasing the following). Other classes will deal with storytelling, fiction, biography, memoir, converting a manuscript to the stage, editing, publishing (traditional and self-publishing), and poetry.



Saturday, January 23, 2016 [snow date January 30]

All classes will be held in the Dana Science Building.

[#12 on the campus map] 

7:45 – 8:15 a.m.

Registration :: Lobby, Dana Science Building

8:15 – 9:15 a.m.

Welcome, teacher introductions, scholarship award, music (Dan Smith, moderator; music by Greg Trafidlo) :: Babcock Auditorium

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Saundra Kelley:: “Putting the ‘Tell’ in Storytelling” :: Babcock Auditorium

Janeson Keeley, Dan Smith :: “How to Charge for Your Writing and Why” :: Room 102

Andrea Brunais :: “Editing: Vital to a Book’s Acceptance—Tips from a Pro” :: Room 114

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Karen Prior :: “All the Memories Fit to Print: The Craft of Memoir” :: Babcock Auditorium

Diane Fanning :: “Compelling Truth: Using Fiction Lessons to Empower Your Nonfiction Writing” :: Room 102

Alice de Sturler :: “Tips to Gain Readers for Your Blog” :: Room 114


Lunch, Hollins Dining Hall, Moody Center [#23 on the campus map]
Please remember to bring your meal ticket

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Neil Sagebiel :: “The Unstoppable Writer: Blog Your Way to Writing and Literary Success” :: Babcock Auditorium

Todd Ristau :: “Instant Playwriting: Just Add Time and Effort” (Students should bring laptops) :: Room 102

Leah Weiss :: “Polishing the Silver: The Secrets for Writing a Book That Inspires an Agent to Call” :: Room 114

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Ed Falco :: “The Character Driven Story” :: Babcock Auditorium

Joe Cobb :: “Writing from the Margins” :: Room 102

Liz Long :: “Beating the Self-Publishing Stigma” :: Room 114

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Terri Leidich :: “Publishing Options: Choosing the Best One for You and Your Book” :: Babcock Auditorium

Ran Henry :: “Nonfiction Friction: How to Tell a True Story that Withstands the Subject’s Wrath” :: Room 102

John Ketwig :: “Getting to the Truth: Writing Memoir and Social History” :: Room 114

4:45 – 5:45 p.m.

Sarah Beth Jones :: “Self-Sabotage: How to Cut It Out, Create Internal and External Support, and Get to Work” :: Babcock Auditorium

Felicia Mitchell :: “Write Where You Are: Creating Strong Images in Poetry” :: Room 102

Paul Sorrentino :: “Tips on How to Write a Biography” :: Room 142

For more information, please contact the conference organizer, Dan Smith, at pampadansmith@gmail.com.


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