2009 Writers' Conference

WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009, 8:30 AM - 4 PM

WHERE: The Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, Virginia Beach

FEATURING: Nine workshops, best selling authors and other experts in their fields, and a first page critique session


of Sharyn McCrumb and Adam Edwards Keynote address and workshop by best selling author, Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author whose work has been cited for "Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature." Sharyn has received the Chaffin and Plattner Awards for Southern fiction, two Best Appalachian Novel awards, and many other honors. She launched her acclaimed Appalachian Ballad novel series with If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O.

Sharyn's novel St. Dale, is the story of a group of ordinary people who go on a pilgrimage in honor of racing legend Dale Earnhardt and find a miracle. This Canterbury Tales in a NASCAR setting won a 2006 Library of Virginia Award as well as the AWA Book of the Year Award.

In 2006 NASCAR's Adam Edwards advised Sharyn on her NASCAR novel Once Around the Track. The partnership worked so well they collaborated on a racing-themed novel, Faster Pastor, which they completed in 2008.

Tim Farrington, author of Lizzie’s War, The Monk Downstairs —a New York Times Notable Book—and The Monk Upstairs, as well as the critically acclaimed novels The California Book of the Dead and Blues for Hannah.

of Pete Freas Pete Freas, author of three chapbooks. He maintains a website of area poetry events and edits an annual anthology of Hampton Roads Poetry, Skipping Stones.

of Judi McCoy Judi McCoy, romance writer for over fifteen years, leads the Romantic Times aspiring authors’ course at their yearly convention. Her first book, I Dream of You, won Waldenbook's Best-selling Debut Romance of 2001. Since then, her novels have consistently garnered four stars from Romantic Times Book Club and numerous online review sites. Heaven in Your Eyes, her May 2003 release, won Fallen Angel Review's Best Contemporary.

of Lauran Strait Lauran Strait conducts writing classes and workshops at the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center. She is the managing editor of the columns section of Moondance Magazine. She has edited for the Canadian Print Magazine, NFG and for The Gator Springs Gazette. Her flash, short stories, and Creative Nonfiction appear in print and online in more than 50 magazines and/or anthologies.

Picture of Lisa Roney Lisa Roney, Ph.D., Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, specializes in fiction, memoir, personal essay, medical humanities, and the literature of illness. Her memoir, Sweet Invisible Body: Reflections on a Life with Diabetes offers a devastating portrait of a young life altered by diabetes.

Picture of Anne Meek Anne Meek, assistant editor of Skipping Stones, an annual anthology of poetry, also writes short stories and poems and collects interviews, memoirs, family writings, and historical sources for a planned biography of her father. She has been a Book Acquisition editor and a managing editor for an education magazine. Some of her writing can be found in Tennessee Poetry Journal and The Small Farm and in Skipping Stones--"The Elvis Impersonator at the Wives' Club" and "Winterkill." Anne is a member of the Poetry Society of Virginia, of The Chesapeake Bay Poets, of the Knoxville (TN) Writers Workshop, and she is on the advisory board of HRW as well as on the board of The Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads.

Picture of Sue Corbett Sue Corbett, children's book reviewer for the Miami Herald since 1996, also is a regular contributor to Publishers Weekly and People Magazine. Her first novel for young readers, 12 Again won the 2006 California Young Readers Medal. Her second book, Free Baseball, was a 2006 Junior Library Guild selection. Her next novel, The Last Newspaper Boy in America, will be published by Dutton Children’s Books in September 2009, and her first picture book, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Virginia, illustrated by Henry Cole, is scheduled for release in October 2009.

Picture of Valerie Wilkinson Valerie Wilkinson is the co-author of Whispers from Our Soul: The Voice of Tahkamenon. She is a quarterly contributor to Moondance Magazine. She has written speeches for state and national politicians and has ghostwritten communications for business leaders, regional and international charities, and political leaders. She is currently completing her second collaboration Mafia Madness: My Life under Siege.


  • A Dark and Stormy Opening—Sharyn McCrumb

  • So You Want to Write for Children—Sue Corbett

  • From Life to Art: Steps to Writing Your Memoir—Lisa Roney

  • Surviving a Novel—Tim Farrington

  • My Poem Hates Me: Playing with Figurative Language—Pete Freas/Anne Meek

  • The Collaborative Process, Problems & Pleasure—Sharyn McCrumb/Adam Edwards

  • Creating Memorable Characters (Interactive Workshop)—Judi McCoy

  • The Satisfying Quickie: A Complete FLASH of Genius (Interactive Workshop)—Lauran Strait

  • Creative Nonfiction: Telling and Selling Reality—Valerie Wilkinson/Lisa Roney/Anne Meek

  • First Pages Critique Session--Click here for more details about this exciting hour.

  • Featured presenters' books for sale and autographing throughout the day. Sales by Barnes and Noble. Credit Cards accepted. Or bring your previously purchased books for autographs.

  • Free coffee available from 8:30 to 9 AM

    For now, registration can only occur through the mail or in person at one of the HRW open mic events. To register by mail, click here to download a registration form.

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