Hampton Roads Writers 2018 TRAVELING PEN Series of Workshops

Each 2.5-hour workshop costs $10 for HRW members and $20 for non-members.  Please send your name, address, email, and phone number along with a note about which workshop you're registering for and payment (check or money order) to:

Hampton Roads Writers
P.O. Box 56228
Virginia Beach, VA 23456


CASH OR CHECK payment is possible at the door, but we'd appreciate an email from you ahead of time so we can assure a sufficient number of handouts for everyone. HRWriters@cox.net

Every workshop occurs at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

  • October 20, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- The Basics of YA (Young Adult) Writing, presented by Jessica Grace Kelley and Hannah Capin @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    Young Adult fiction is more dominated by trends than any other section of the fiction market. This makes it a challenge to define—and an even greater challenge to break into. What sets YA apart from adult fiction? It’s more than the age of the characters. The category’s growth has far exceeded that of adult fiction sales in the past 15 years, which makes YA a popular target market for writers. But without a solid understanding of fundamentals specific to YA, aspiring novelists are often lost in agents’ and editors’ “slush piles.” The Basics of YA will provide writers the tools to craft a story that can find its place in a fascinating and fast-paced market. The workshop will cover young adult’s distinctive approach to voice, pacing, characterization, and setting, and explain how to tie emotional drivers with plot, which is key to writing a relatable novel for teens. Participants will read excerpts from successful YA novels that highlight each topic, and will take part in exercises that help them apply the ideas to their own work. Attendees will have the opportunity to send in a short excerpt, and a few will be critiqued by Jessica and Hannah during class.

    Jessica Grace Kelley is an accountant by day and writer by night. She greatly prefers her night job. She’s an author and poet, and her young adult novels have received over a dozen awards and contest wins, including the Daphne du Maurier, the YA Authors.Me contest, and the Emma Merritt. Jessica holds a BA in Finance and Accounting. When she isn’t buried in books she spends her time writing music and co-teaching a teen writing class. Sometimes she tries to be a painter, but the product of her efforts proves it's all in her head.

    Hannah Capin completed her first manuscript at age 11. Although that project remains locked in a vault, her debut YA novel, The Dead Queens Club, is forthcoming from Harlequin Teen (winter 2019). When she isn’t working on her next novel, you’ll find her sailing, singing, or holding late-night gossip sessions with her girl squad. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and her master’s degree from Columbia University.

    Tuition Rate

  • November 17, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Essential Principles of Modern Writing, presented by Rick Eley @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    Principles are methods known to work, and this TPS session reviews many of the eighty-plus topics from my forthcoming book, Essential Principles of Modern Writing. We'll cover the big secret of storytelling, active and passive voice, foreshadowing vs. foretelling, easy plotting methods, the psychology of detail, realistic dialog, expository questions, and much more. Whether new or experienced, all writers will benefit from this material.

    Richard Eley is an IT professional and tech wizard, born, raised, and living in the tidewater of Virginia. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, performs improv comedy, and often annoys those around him with his loud and unrestrained singing. To avoid writing, he organizes the Tidewater Writers critique group, presents writing workshops, and is a board member of HRW. One of his short stories was published in the first sci-fi contest from Issues in Science and Technology. His scribbling has appeared in the Virginian-Pilot, and he garnered a second place award in the non-fiction contest at the 2017 HRW Writers Conference. He dubiously claims to be working on one or two sci-fi novels.

    Tuition Rate

    Previous TPS workshops in 2018
  • February 24, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Stand Out Online with Key Marketing Strategies, presented by Amy Dearborn @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    This workshop will equip authors/writers to increase their online visibility and create a strong online presence. We will cover topics including an introduction to search engine optimization (SEO), how to rank high in the search engines, designing an effective task schedule, creating and refining your marketing strategies, and content optimization tips. Other topics include keyword research techniques, free analytics and metrics tools, the value of link building and how to leverage content cross-platform.

    Amy Dearborn is President and CEO of One Stop Tech Shoop. She has over 20 hears of experience in the information technology fields of website design, graphic design, website development, technical editing and online marketing.

    She is intimately involved in all aspects of her client's online marketing including hosting, maintenance, content updates, security setups, backups, blogging, social site platform work, online advertising, professional consultation, and technical training. She has garnered numerous testimonials for her company and only received "5-Star Google Reviews" for her work.

    Amy has achieved status as a Google Certified Professional and has pursued advanced degrees and other technical certifications necessary to not only meet the needs of her current customers, but prepare herself to meet their future needs, even if they cannot articulate them. She sees challenges, analyzes them, and formulates innovative solutions to help her clients gain a competitive edge. Her personal and professional growth has been fueled by the desire to always be a 100% team player and is guided by her own personal credo of "I only succeed if they succeed!"

  • March 10, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Let's Create Song Lyrics presented by Doug Theile @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    Lyrics are not poems. They share the fundamentals of words, but their differences are profound. Lyrics carry with them the necessary underpinning of music, stylistic requirements, and other unique properties. In this workshop we’ll explore such concepts as the musical requirements of rhyme, meter, audience, and a bit about marketing. Time permitting, Doug will critique two or three lyrics brought in by workshop attendees.

    Doug Thiele divides his creative life between music and the written word and is the recipient of many awards in both fields. His poetry, short stories and essays have been published in a variety of media from Evergreen Review to The Taj Mahal Review in India. His lyrics have been recorded and performed by such disparate artists as The Westminster Boys Choir and Dolly Parton. He teaches Composition and Creative Writing in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

  • April 21, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- How Having a Podcast Can Promote Authors and Writers, presented by Ramona Rice @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    Over 75 million people listen to podcasts monthly; this is a huge audience of potential fans of your work. Plus while there are over 30 million active blogs on the internet there are only 200,000 podcasters.

    In this workshop, we'll go over the reasons why a podcast might just be the perfect way to promote your writing career. We'll go over how to start a podcast, what type of podcast formats work best, and by the end of the workshop, everyone will have a working idea about how to produce a show of their own.

    Ramona Rice is an accidental podcaster who is passionate about helping podcasters grow and expand their podcast. Since launching her first podcast, "The Sports Gal Pal," in June 2015, Ramona has quickly risen through the podcasting ranks as a show creation expert. Ramona was the co-host of "We Should Not Be Friends" in 2016, and in 2017 created the "Spapreneur Podcast," a niche podcast to help professionals in the day spa industry. Ramona is also the Community Manager for Podcast Websites, an all-in-one podcast and website hosting platform. There she helps hundreds of podcasters discover new ways to create amazing content and reach new audiences.

    Ramona is a proud graduate of The University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree. She resides in the Hampton Roads area with two tiny humans, who are podcasters themselves.

  • May 19, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Writing Romance: First Encounters (Meet Cute), presented by Jenna Jaxon @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

  • Writing Romance: First Encounters (Meet Cute)
    In this workshop, which is applicable not just for romance writers, we talk about the nuts and bolts of crafting the first chapter. This will include a discussion of information that appeals across genres such as the beginning hook and inciting incident. We also will learn about dramatic structure as it applies to romance writing. We’ll also discuss different kinds of meetings between our characters, how to make the meetings memorable, how to approach a meet cute (first encounter) in different sub-genres (such as inspirational, YA, and historical romance). Participants will be shown have to introduce conflict (internal and external) during the meet cute that will propel the characters through the remainder of the story.

    Jenna Jaxon, is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Gloucester, Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.

    Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as an active member of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France. This March Kensington Publishing will release the first book of her Widows’ Club series, To Woo A Wicked Widow, in both print and ebook.

    She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.

    BLOG: https://jennajaxon.wordpress.com/
    TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon
    FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Jaxon/146857578723570

  • June 23, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Let’s Get Experimental: Crafting the Memoir, presented by Shawn Girvan @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    The memoirist in a workshop will sometimes give a soft pass when it comes to really experimenting with craft elements, such as character, plot, point of view, setting, structure, and dialogue. When they begin to write their own story, they might be too cemented in “how it really happened” or, sometimes, they are so emotionally close to the material that experimentation might become a nonissue. We will discuss authors who have created memoirs that manipulate certain craft elements to create truly unique personal narratives. In this workshop, writers will be able to see the freedom that comes when they start experimenting with craft elements and style.

    Shawn Girvan received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He teaches at Old Dominion University and at the Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia where he serves as Program Manager. In his limited free time, Shawn also enjoys writing about his life. His work has appeared in Wraparound South, West Texas Literary Review, Neologian, and a few other modest publications. Shawn currently resides in Virginia Beach where he and his wife try to watch Jeopardy together every night.

  • July 28, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Playing with Blocks, presented by Susie Pedigo @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    Come prepared to play and to share your experiences. How do you prepare for a writing session? What gets in your way at each stage of the process? Are some stages easier than others for you? What is your process? What is your practice or routine? Where is it strong? Where is it weak?

    In this interactive session, you will examine your own writing habits and learn a few general tools to strengthen it. You will define some causes for feeling blocked and try some weird and some not so weird ways of either blowing those blocks up or going around them. You will also practice two or three techniques for each step in your process. Even if you have never experienced a block, these techniques may enrich your writing experience.

    Susie Pedigo taught English, including creative writing and composition in Virginia Beach Public Schools for 35 years. During that time she choreographed for area little theater and high school productions. She continues her lifelong practice of ballet, jazz and tap dancing. A dabbler, who loves the creative process, she continues to explore new outlets: acrylic and water color painting, and poetry, creative nonfiction, short story writing, and piano playing. Her newest experiment is designing and weaving wall hangings.

    She presently teaches two workshops "Spark your Creativity" and "Nourish Your Creativity" at the Muse Writers Center in Norfolk.

  • August 25, 2018 --Traveling Pen Writers Workshop -- Storytelling: The Stories Inside Us presented by Sheila Arnold Jones @ the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshop runs from 9:30 to Noon.

    We will find the stories that live inside us all. We will examine the ingredients needed to tell a personal story in such a way as to make it leap off our tongues and into the mind of a listener. Together, we’ll explore the various types of storytelling and gain insight into the growing professional community of storytellers. Join us for this interactive and participatory class. No previous storytelling experience is needed. Even if you aren’t sure what story you might want to tell, don’t worry--we will find it together!

    Sheila Arnold Jones is a Professional Storyteller, Character Interpreter, and Teaching Artist. Through her company, History’s Alive!, Sheila has provided storytelling programs, historic character presentations, Christian monologues, dramatic/creative writing workshops, professional development for educators and inspirational/motivational speeches at schools, churches, libraries, professional organizations and museums, in 29 states since 2003. She has 2 books: a picture book, Weeping Willow, or, Why the Leaves Change their Colors, and an historical fiction using biblical persons, David’s Mighty Man: Benaiah. She also has two storytelling CDs, Mini, Many, Minnie Tales and Hands Wide Open. Books can be purchased by contacting Sheila at sheilaarnold39@aol.com and the CDs are available through her website, www.mssheila.org and for download at CDbaby.com. A new addition to Sheila’s titles is “historical consultant” – helping museums and exhibit designers find the story and how to share it from historical documents, artifacts, buildings, and the historical use of land and water.

    Sheila has been a featured Storyteller at several Storytelling Festivals: National Storytelling Festival (Jonesborough, TN); Paris Storytelling Festival (Paris, KY); Connecticut Storytelling Festival; Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival (Young Harris, GA); Hearts Afire Storytelling Weekend (Richmond, VA); Stories: From Sea to Shore Storytelling Weekend (Norfolk, VA); twice at Culpeper Tells (Culpeper, VA); twice at Storytelling Festival of the Southeast (Laurinburg, NC); three times at Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival (Chilicothee, OH), Moonshell Storytelling Festival (Omaha, NE), Stone Soup Storytelling Festival (Woodruff, SC); and twice at Colonial Williamsburg Storytelling Festival (Williamsburg, VA). She also has been a Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, TN. Sheila collaborates with storyteller, Darci Tucker, to produce the Tucker-Arnold Storytelling Concert and Retreat in Williamsburg, VA featuring nationally known Storytellers. Ms. Sheila, what she is commonly called, has also presented Professional Development sessions, Storytelling Programs and Character Presentations at educational conferences, including Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, Valley Forge Teacher Institute, Mt. Vernon Teacher Institute, and Social Studies and Reading Association Conferences in New York, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, the National Council of Social Studies and for many Teaching American History Grant programs around the country and has presented and performed on a variety of topics. Previously, Sheila worked at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as a Coordinator with the Teacher Institute, in Public Relations and Event Manager, and as a Storyteller and Theatrical Interpreter. Also, she was a Social Worker, Hampton City Schools Substitute Teacher and a Mary Kay, Inc. Independent Senior Beauty Consultant. She is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte with a B.A. in African-American & African History.

    Christian Monologues are another area where Sheila has shown her talent for presentation, research, and message. She wrote and produced the full-length play, And the Women Were There, which focuses on 7 women who followed Jesus, and received local acclaim for this work. She is currently a co-leader of First Baptist Norfolk’s Drama Ministry and also rounds out her talents as a Drama and Creative Writing workshop leader for children and adults.

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