Roanoke Regional Writers Conference Begins January 23 at Hollins University

The 2015 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference kicks off a week from today at Hollins University. More than two dozen Virginia writers, authors, journalists and publishing professionals will speak and teach classes on a range of topics. This is the eighth edition of the popular writers conference.

This will be my fourth consecutive trip to the conference, a little more than an hour from my home in Floyd. In 2013 I taught on writing and refining book proposals aimed at major publishers. Last year I was a student, soaking up the teaching, the inspiration and the networking. This year I will teach a class on researching nonfiction.

Following are the schedule and lineup of classes.

Friday January 23, 2015 from 6 to 10 p.m.:

Reception (Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center)

6 p.m. Networking
7 p.m. Welcome, Hollins President Nancy Oliver Gray
7:10 p.m. Presentation of scholarship award
7:20 p.m. Introduction of teaching staff
7:35 p.m. Greg Trafidlo, A song for our conference
7:45 p.m. Anne Adams: “Truth Is Always Stranger Than Fiction in My Neck of the Woods”
8 p.m. Roland Lazenby and Keith Ferrell: “The Future of the Book”

Saturday January 24, 2015 from 830 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

Classes (Dana Science Building)

8:30-9:30 a.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Roundtable Discussion “Getting Into Print” (Dan Smith moderator)

9:45-10:45 a.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Lindsey Narmour “So I’m Writing a Love Scene: A Look at Sex in Writing”

Room 102, Alice de Sturler “True Crime Reporting: Blog to Business”
Room 114, Betsy Ashton “Writers and Their Communities: A Fusion”
Room 142, Liz Long “Social Media Marketing for Writers”

11 a.m.-Noon
Babcock Auditorium, Sarah Beth Jones “Kicking Fear in the Pants: Clearing the Path to Your Authentic Writing Voice”

Room 114, Anita Firebaugh “The Writers’ Journal: Fleshing Out the Details”
Room 102, Diane Fanning “Interview Techniques for Fact or Fiction”
Room 142, Rod Belcher “Dreaming Big: Avoiding the SF/Fantasy Slush Pile”
Noon, Lunch in Hollins Dining Hall, Moody Center (Remember your lunch ticket)

1-2 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Ed Falco “True Crime Fiction: Isn’t That an Oxymoron?”

Room 102, Brad Kelley “Critical Thinking to Improve Writing”
Room 114, Greg Trafidlo “Breaking Writers Block: Some Effective Techniques”
Room 142, Todd Ristau “An Introduction to Adaptation: How to Turn Your Novel or Poem into a Stage Play”
2:15-3:15 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Saundra Kelly “Storytelling: Using the Story-Arc Format from the Ancient Oral Tradition”

Room 102, Andrea Brunais “Creating Greater Clarity in Your Work” (Students encouraged to bring writing examples to class)
Room 114, Dan Casey “Storytelling on LSD”
Room 142, Carol Alexander “Writing a Query Letter that Sells”

3:30-4:30 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium, Karen Chase “Building a Publishing Resume and Network”

Room 102, Terri Leidich “The Latest and Greatest Tools for Marketing Your Books”
Room 114, Margo Oxendine “Your Life is a Column—Write It”
Room 142, Keith Ferrell “Being Taken Seriously in a World That Undervalues Writers”

4:45-5:45 p.m.
Babcock Auditorium: Tim Thornton “Getting the Last Word: Writing a Great Obituary for Yourself or Somebody Else”

Room 102, Neil Sagebiel “Researching Nonfiction”
Room 114, Sharon Rappaport “Channeling Voices: Ghostwriting, Copywriting and Other Not-So-Scary Gigs”
Room 142, Dan Radmacher “Opinions Are Like Noses: Everyone Has One; How To Make Yours Count With Solid Research”