Hampton Roads Writers - Where Characters Connect



How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .

by Lauran Strait

Thank you does not even begin to cover the gratitude I feel for each one of you who donated to Hampton Roads Writers during our recent fundraising campaign. We hit our goal of $4,000 on the very last day of the Facebook campaign. In fact, when the mailed-in checks and donations through our new website were included, we exceeded that goal by more than $1,300. Wow! Just WOW!

Know that your donations will aid HRW in expanding our services to writers. They will help defray some of the enormous expense involved with our new website. They will allow us to offer scholarships to our traveling pen writer workshops and to the September 23 – 25 writers conference. They will allow us to continue to create exciting opportunities for writers to succeed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
2021 Conference Postcard
Registration for this year's writers conference will open June 6th. Remember that HRW members will receive a discounted tuition fee. The time frame for the early-bird rate is narrower this year since we had to delay the start of registration from out usual March until now. We're doing registration and submission of contest entries and first ten line pieces all online this year. There are a limited number of agent pitch sessions that will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

We have designated 8 registrations as Golden Ticket registrations. These will entitle the purchaser to pitch to all four agents, to have preferred seating at the plenary session, have up-front parking, and to enjoy a pre-conference dinner with the presenters and HRW board members. Look for details on the conference registration page.

We also are offering a 5-hour writer boot camp and a 5-hour master class as pre-conference options on Thursday, September 23 from 11 - 4. Again, details about this are on the conference registration page.

Hope to see you at the conference.

Check out our website and register there so you can access all things HRW.

It's easy & it's FREE

  1. Click on the log-in/register link at the upper right side of the page
  2. Enter your user name like this FIRST.LAST
  3. Then enter your email address
  4. Make up a password that you can remember (or, if you're like me, write it down and put it in a place you hope you can remember)
  5. Confirm your password by typing it in again
  6. Check the box that says: Send these credentials via email
  7. Click the Register button.
Registering on the website is NOT the same as joining HRW as a member. Registering is free. Becoming a member costs a small, tax-deductible yearly fee that helps us cover some of our operating expenses.

If you do decide to join HRW you will receive discounts when you sign up for a TPS workshop or for the conference. You'll also have access to your own Public Member Profile as part of the Member Directory. More details are available on the HELP page.
Next Zoom Social hour, AKA the Quarantini, is June 4, from 4:30 - 5:30 PM.

If you don't register, we won't know you want to attend. Previous to the debut of the new website, we physically emailed the zoom link to anyone who emailed a request for it. We have changed things. If you'd like to receive a zoom invite, please visit our event calendar and register for the event. It's free to register and free to attend.


to the following HRW Members:

Red Lagoe's short story collection Dismal Dreams releases June 25. Ebook is available for preorder now. Her sci-fi horror story "Infectious Glow" will be published on June 14th in Sinister Smile Press' anthology If I Die Before I Wake Volume 5. Also, as a staff writer for Crystal Lake Publishing's Still Water Bay dark fiction series, Red's next contributing story, "Ashes to Ashes" is scheduled to be published on June 15.
The Mahoney & Squire Series
By Mike Krentz

Captain Kate “Scarlett” Mahoney and Lieutenant Commander Jessica “Cricket” Squire embark the navy’s fleet command flagship as it patrols the Western Pacific to support fragile allies against threats from North Korea and China. Not every foe wears a foreign uniform. Not all enemies live outside the skin of the ship.

Personal challenges do not take leave when a foreign power launches a weapon. Single parenthood, complicated relationships, ambition, sexism, jealousy, alcoholism, abuse, and haunted pasts demand attention alongside operations plans, guns, missiles, torpedoes, and silent scourges. In the heat of such battles, some triumph, others fail. Honor, courage, loyalty, love, friendship, sacrifice, commitment, and sheer guts make the difference.

The Mahoney & Squire Series of four novels plunges the reader into overt and covert threats, interpersonal conflict, and human drama. The stories portray naval officers’ personal and professional challenges in a tinderbox region of international tension. Female leaders face the most difficult challenges. They often find support not from a male-dominated chain of command, but from other colleagues with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Dawn Brotherton is having a Facebook live Book Launch at Eastover Treasures, on June 22, 2021 at 7pm. For a chance to win books and quilted prizes, join her for 30 minutes for her virtual book launch on Jun 22, 7pm.

During their annual quilt retreat, gale force winds trap the sewing sisters in a boarded-up manor house. Inside, they discover the diaries of the mistress of Eastover Plantation written during the Civil War and clues she left behind for her children about a treasure hunt. Following the clues, the quilters take a journey they never expected.


Terry Cox-Joseph celebrates two recent publications of her work. The first is in
Plants and Poetry, "Sense of Summer," Issue 7, Remedies and Rituals. The second is in The Poeming Pigeon, "Lake Street Fortune Teller," From Pandemic to Protest.


Ken Poyner's prose "Driving Holes" was published in
Cafe Irreal.


Tony Logan has a new "Tales to Terrify" podcast which can be found here.


Harry Holmes has a second Morgan Book, entitled Morgan And The Great Cascade Mountain Fire. It is now available at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. This is an exciting story for all readers. It is a fun book to read, to give as a gift (birthday, Christmas, or Baby Shower). Harry would like to thank all who bought his first "Morgan" book.


Newsletter Editor -- Dr. Rita Budrionis. If you'd like to write an article in your area of expertise or have an announcement you'd like to share, please email her.

James L. Hill

Author_Photos-Athina James-7942.jpg

James L. Hill is a big man with a big curiosity to match his programming, writing, and publishing skills. Raised in New York City, with a hint of that accent still in his voice, James moved his family to Tidewater for better schools, job opportunities, and living choices.

James started writing early and had some creative ways of getting his work to publishers. He took a newspaper route for the Wall Street Journal that included publishers’ row when that entity existed. Direct delivery of his short stories to their mailrooms and ‘over the transom’ did not result in immediate bestsellers.

He pursued an alternate career in programming, learning several of the technical languages needed to create the final product. He continued to write and decided to use the newly offered desktop publishing services of Xlibris for his sci/fi novel, Pegasus: A Journey to New Eden. The publication of his book was his early workshop of how to bring a book to print. With his computer experience, he soon learned the ins-and-outs of the process. Combining his technical skills with his literary abilities, James decided to become a publisher himself. RockHill Publishing opened in 2013. He styles himself as publisher and author of adult fiction, fantasy, and Sci/fi with a slant toward the dark side!

His first publication was his own venture into adult crime fiction, Killer with a Heart (Killer Series Book 1) and The Emerald Lady (The Gemstone Series Book 1), fantasy. About this time, he realized that another talent was needed for success - an editor. He found his editor in South Africa, from a combination of book fairs and internet, when he met romance writer, Athina Paris.

To offer the complete package to an author, James found a marketing company to help writers find their niche. The addition of Abundantly Social brings a high level of expertise in social media and getting maximum exposure for your book.
Submissions will be accepted for romance, science fiction, fantasy, and adult fiction in June 2021. Check on Facebook or the RockHill Publishing website for guidelines.

Asked why he joined Hampton Roads Writers, James said he “joined because they were a local group that offers support to writers of all levels.” Welcome!

If you're interested in the demystification of the publishing industry, James invites you to visit his Readers and Writers Podcast every Tuesday at 7pm ET. Each 15-minute, weekly segment consists of a roundtable discussion to educate listeners on a variety of issues concerning publishing and writing, schooling writers on what it takes to become an author. It wraps up by informing readers of new authors and their books.

Current Titles available from RockHill Publishing:
James L. Hill
See above and
Killer with Three Heads (Killer Series Book 2)
Killer with Black Blood (Killer Series Book 3 – coming in summer 2021)

Athina Paris (Romance)
Love & Madness
Knight Kisses
When Dani Smiled
All I Ever Wanted: Jessie
All I Ever Wanted: Juliet – coming summer 2021

David F Balog (Fantasy)
The Necromancer’s Lament

Myron Edwards (Fantasy)
Mistress of the Rock
Scylla: The Revenge
The Journey Back– coming summer 2021

John L Ford (Science Fiction)

Barbara Harrison (Adult Fiction)
Get Out Now!

H C Kilgour (Fantasy)

Zack Varkaris (Historical Fiction)
The Vevellis Chronicles: The Crescent and The Cross

Mark Everglade (Science Fiction – Cyberpunk)


Page Bishop
Patricia Bookman
Elizabeth Leary
Melanie Makovsky
Karen McSpadden
Lynn Negus
Abi Pachter
Renee Reigh
Peter Stipe
Jason Taylor
Samantha Wetzler
David Wynne

We look forward to meeting you at HRW's events!

As a reminder to all HRW members, please add/update your picture and writer bio to your personal member page.

Traveling Pen Series of Writers Workshops

To attend any of these workshops, you must register for them prior to the workshop. After you make your payment (or are approved for a partial or full scholarship) you will receive a zoom link to the event.

Each 2.5 hour workshop costs $16 for HRW members and $26 for non-members and will be held via ZOOM until it is safe to meet in the classroom again.

Jumpstarting and Revising the Poem, presented by VA Poet Laureate, Luisa Igloria.

June 19 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT Online

Fiction & Creative Nonfiction: Description, Metaphor, and the Narrative Lens

July 17 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT Online

Writing Fantasy

October 16 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT Online

Scene Building in Novels: Scene by Scene

November 20 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm EST Online
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Thanks for reading. See you soon!