Hampton Roads Writers - Where Characters Connect
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Traveling Pen Series of Writers Workshops for 2023

Our 2.5 hour workshop (9:30 AM thru noon EST) cost $10 for middle and high school students, $20 for current HRW members and $30 for nonmembers. Scholarships always available for those people with a true financial need. all workshops are zoomed.

March 18, 2023–TPS Workshop–Submitting Your Work to Magazines and Journals, presented by Arthur Klepchukov

Perhaps you’ve written a few stories, poems or essays and want to know where and how to submit your work for publication. What’s the best draft to send? How do you choose among the deluge of submission opportunities? How do you make sense of submission guidelines? Learn what tools and resources exist to help you on your journey to publication in this informative workshop for writers who want to begin their paths to publication in literary journals or magazines.

Presenter Bio

Arthur Klepchukov found words between Black Seas, Virginian Beaches, and San Franciscan waves. He adores trains, swing sets, and music that tears him outta time. Follow Art’s writing journey at ArsenalOfWords.com or read his words in places like Glimmer Train, The Common, Necessary Fiction, and The Best American Mystery Stories.

April 15, 2023–TPW Workshop–Writing Your Novel In Seven Drafts, presented by Mary Burton

Writing a novel can be a daunting task that can be overwhelming. Instead of tackling all the elements of your novel at once, Writing Your Novel in 7 Drafts breaks the process down into manageable pieces. From Draft 1, the Sloppy Copy, to the final draft, the BIG READ, each draft has a purpose and focus that will help you transform your ideas onto the page.

Presenter Bio

Mary Burton loves writing suspense, getting to know her characters, keeping up with law enforcement and forensic procedures, morning walks, baking, and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner, and Fresh Fiction likened her writing to that of James Patterson. When it comes to research, she’s known for taking a hands-on approach, whether it means interviewing professionals, attending forensic seminars or studying evidence collection and analysis.

Mary is routinely featured among the top ten writers in Amazon’s Author Rankings for suspense, romantic suspense and thrillers. Her recent titles The Lies I Told, Don’t Look Now, Near You, Never Look Back, I See You, and Hide and Seek consistently rank high on the Kindle eBooks Store Bestseller List. She is a 2019 Montlake Romance Diamond Award winner signifying she’s reached one million readers.

Formerly a Richmond, Virginia native, Mary now resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She’s a graduate of Virginia’s Hollins University and she worked in marketing before her first book was published in 2000. Today she’s the author of thirty-seven published novels and five novellas as Mary Burton and nine works of contemporary fiction as Mary Ellen Taylor, including Winter Cottage, Spring House, Honeysuckle Season, and the upcoming The Brighter the Light.

She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Novelists, Inc. When not on the road for research or visits with readers at bookstores, book festivals and conferences, Mary remains very much a homebody. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying their empty nest and spoiling their four-legged babies Buddy and Tiki.

May 20, 2023–Preserving a Daily Poetry Practice in a Frenzied World, presented by Charlotte Matthews

For poets, the act of writing embodies the act of falling by engendering a wider, albeit riskier, realm. How can we preserve our spot in this riskier realm and still live, still engage, in the “real” world? Workshop participants will receive practical tips for writing every single day even when life spins feverishly. Together, we will practice some quick writing exercises that can be employed while being on hold or in a waiting room. In addition, the workshop will include a guided look at two poems that speak to the finding placidity in a frenzied world. Participants will experience first-hand the possibility of keeping a daily practice and will walk away emboldened to do so.

Presenter Bio

Charlotte Matthews is the author of five poetry collections and a memoir. Associate Professor at The University of Virginia, she teaches writing to adult learners. In addition, she serves as writer in residence during the summer at The Chautauqua Institute. She lives in Crozet, Virginia with her husband, children, two dogs, and three determined chickens.
Sixth in a series of essays about steps taken by HRW member Drema Deòraich on her way to indie publication success with her debut novel, Entheóphage.

More Small Steps to Indie Publishing

by Drema Deòraich

Part Six of an Ongoing Series on Indie Publishing

While your editorial team is working on the manuscript, and your cover designer is drafting a few designs for your consideration, take some time to think about interior formatting. Your upload files—whether for Amazon, IngramSpark, or other aggregators—will need to be formatted in a certain way. There are many individuals and businesses that offer interior formatting for you, so that you don’t have to worry about the little idiosyncrasies of the various platforms where you plan to upload your files. Just consider that if you choose someone else to format the book for you, you have less control over what, and how, the formatting is done. You are also locked into the formatter’s schedule; you won’t be their only client, so they’ll have to fit your changes and special requests in-between their other jobs. In addition, they can often be in a hurry. It is incumbent upon you, the author, to carefully review the initial formatted file and every revision thereafter to ensure that the details are the way you want them, and that no errors crept in. If the document needs further edits, your timetable could be stretched beyond what you expected, so don’t rush this step.

The other option is to format the files yourself. There are apparently a number of ways this can be done, though I am not familiar with most of them. I’ve heard that Draft2Digital even has an ebook formatting program you can use for free whether or not you use them to distribute your ebooks. In addition, new programs come into the market all the time, especially with the indie market growing the way it is now. Do some online research to find what is available when you are ready to publish. I do know of two programs that are available now for writers who wish to do their own interior book designs, which we’ll look at in the next installment.

That’s it for now. See you next time!

SHOW AND GROW your PROSE with Professional Critique

Don't miss the chance to get free, professional feedback on your written work. Presenters will read up to ten minutes of their material, which will be followed by another ten minutes of feedback from our guest critiquers Lauran Strait and Michael Khandelwal. If you desire, your material can be read anonymously by one of our staff. We accept fiction and nonfiction (NO POETRY or SCRIPTS PLEASE), but in all cases reading time will be capped at ten minutes. Reading slots are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Send submissions to HRWriters@cox.net.

Non-presenting audience members are both welcome and encouraged to attend. Material is displayed on the auditorium screen so everyone can view the text and read along.

Not only are these events great for learning more about the craft of writing, by attending you also show your support for your fellow authors and writing community.

After the events held at the Muse Writers Center, many of us head over to Plaza Del Sol for lunch, conversation, and fellowship. All are welcome to join. Attendance at the Gus and George restaurant will provide the opportunity to purchase lunch during the event. Lunch purchase is not a requirement to attend. If you will attend but know you won't stay for lunch, please let us know so we can let the restaurant plan staffing accordingly.
We hope to see you there! NOTE:
  • 2 of the 3 reading slots are filled for March 4
March 4, 2023, 11:15 am - 1:30 pm
May 13, 2023, 11:15 am - 1:30 pm


By: Heather Barrett

Carol Parris Krauss
  • Two poems (“Winterkill” and “For Unto Us”) published at Rat’s Ass Review. Spring Summer 2023 - Rat's Ass Review
  • Two poems have been accepted for publication and are forthcoming, one in Highland Park Poetry and one in Schuylkill Valley Review.

Tony Logan

Beth Vinson

§ Published her third book, The First of Forever – Poems from a Lost Love. Available at Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. Contact Beth for direct order or an autographed copy: email bvinson@twanger.net or phone 757-403-1219.

Ken Poyner

  • “Process” (micro-fiction) and “Production” (micro-fiction), issue 36 at Unbroken Journal.
§ “Consensus” (drabble), at Friday Flash Fiction.
  • “Dilemma” (drabble), at Entropy2.
  • “Options” (drabble), issue 171 at Microfiction Monday Magazine.
  • “Exchange” (drabble), “Equidistant” (drabble), “Industry” (drabble), issue 68, at Otoliths.
  • “Pure Science” (poem), in “Star*Line”, issue 46.1 at www.sfpoetry.com
  • “Rapture” (poem), “Family Affair” (drabble), “Information” (drabble), “Community” (drabble), issue 34.1 at Mobius.
  • “Liminal Creatures” (poem), issue 68, at Neologism.
  • “Beginning” (drabble), “Civics” (drabble), “Choosing” (drabble), “Recycle” (drabble), “Remaining” (drabble), in issue 4 at Liennek Journal.
  • “Quick Thinking” (drabble), Sundial Books Facebook page.
  • “Talent” (flash fiction), anthology “Flash of the Dead”, Wicked Shadow Press.
  • “First Date” (drabble) at Rune Bear.

Heather Brown Barrett

Fran Walsh Ward, PhD
  • Two metaphysical lectures delivered by Fran Walsh Ward, PhD have been published in Wisdom from the Podium (2022), which is available hard cover or paperback on Amazon.com. One lecture centers on her journey to the Middle East and the caves in Petra. The other called “Between” uses The Tibetan Book the Dead to explain that our lives are always between something (past and future, sunrise and sunset, meals, relationships…).

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!
Do you have a recent writing publication or writing award you’d like to share for the Kudos section of the Hampton Roads Writers monthly newsletter? If so, please email your name and publication information to Heather Brown Barrett.

Author Spotlight

By: Sandy Robinette


A thirty-year resident of Tidewater, Don is a member of several writing groups including Hampton Roads Writers.

Don describes his writing succinctly as recognizable characters in familiar situations with unexpected endings. Modern day fables! He also confesses to writing poetry, which he calls his “jingles with morals.” A recurring theme in his writings is the moral and spiritual side of life as it weaves through the everyday of making a living, keeping a house, worshipping, creating a business, dying, and loving.

His co-authored and published book Veritas: A Gospel of Commerce and Spirituality -- The Beatitudes for Business, which was written originally as a play. Veritas offers a unique and interesting viewpoint. Ideas are presented with intelligence and humor and invite re-thinking of the traditional modes of interaction among all people.

Don has recently been published in the anthology from the Virginia Writers Club Golden Nib Winners 2022 with a short story “Negotiating with Heaven.” Other previously published short stories are “Condemned Memories” and “The Tow Truck Driver.” Essays, “Must the rich help the poor?” and “Identity Theft,” have appeared in the Virginian Pilot’s Inside Business. His current project is a book of shorts titled Crooked Fables.

A longtime hospice volunteer, Don knows about the value of each person, especially in the end days. He wrote an orientation brochure for new volunteers. His experiences with hospice will certainly help those who have chosen to minister to the dying, their families, and themselves. Other works include discourses on alternative healthcare.

Any advice for writers? Don says, “anyone can be critical, but few bestow critiques.” As I mentioned, succinct, and very good advice.


Peter Stipe, Williamsburg Book Festival Board President, reports that the festival, rescheduled from October 2022 to February 4, 2023 due to a hurricane, was successful. 40 local and regional authors participated as did 4 publishers. More than 300 readers visited the festival to check out the authors' books. Six presentations, speakers and panel discussions, brought in 110 attendees. Given the success of the rescheduled spring Book Festival, the event is being planned for early spring in 2024. Thank you to Hampton Roads Writers for supporting the Williamsburg Book Festival.
Due to lack of interest among newsletter readers, New Members, and Paying Calls for Submission sections have been eliminated.
Thanks for reading. See you soon!

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