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Living Your Writing Life Symposium

Fourteenth Annual VWC Symposium

Living Your Writing Life: Embracing New Chapters

August 3, 2024

This year's Symposium will be in-person at Randolph-Macon College, 114 College Ave., Ashland, Virginia.

We're excited to have MM "Peggy" Finck as our keynote speaker.

MM Finck is a publishing consultant and niche editor specializing in queries, pitches, opening pages, & overall story analysis. She established her practice as the Query Quill in 2014. She oversees WomenWriters,Women[‘s]Books’s Agents’ Corner & Author Interviews segments. She was granted the first ever interview with the Editor-in-Chief of Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing. Among MM’s clients’ and interviewees’ successes are chart rankings, bestsellers, and two adaptations to television series - one Apple, one Prime. Two-time Vice-President of Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Past-Chair Advisor for Rising STAR Award for Unpublished Women’s Fiction. Founder of Penning Suspense, a group for suspenseful & thriller fiction writers, and togetHER, a Facebook group for women. Also active in James River Writers, Sister in Crime, & Writer Unboxed. Represented by Katie Shea Boutillier. On social media as @MMFinck.


    9:00 - 9:30: Gather and mingle

    9:30 - 9:50: Welcome in auditorium classroom (all attendees)

    10:05 - 11:00:    Session 1  (choose 1)

    ·         Cecilia Thomas - So You Think You're Not a Poet?

    ·      Susan Schwartz - Organizing a Non-Fiction Book (Ins, Outs, & In-Betweens)

    ·          Charles Tabb - Kindle Direct Publishing: It's Simpler than You Think (and Free)

    ·         Deidra Whitt Lovegren - It's in the (Tarot) Cards! — How to Use Archetypes to Your Writing Advantage

    11:15 - 12:10:     Session 2  (choose 1) 

    ·         Betsy Ashton - Turning Real Life Events into Fiction without Angering the Entire Family

    •    Tracee Lydia Garner - Break Into Romance Writing and Publishing

    ·         Pamela K. Kinney - Writing the Book Blurb That Will Catch the Reader's Attention to Your Book

    ·         J.E. Tobin - The Awesome Antagonist: Writing Powerful Foes

    12:10 - 1:00      LUNCH

    1:00 - 1:45:         Keynote Speaker, MM "Peggy" Finck

    2:00 - 2:55:      Session 3   (choose 1)

    ·         Claudine Griggs - Speculative Fiction: A Genre of Hope

    ·         Joan Garrabrant - Using Poetry to Find Your Voice

    ·         Leslie Truex - How to Write a Synopsis and Query Letter

    ·         Clifford Garstang - What We Talk About When We Talk about Point of View

    3:10 - 4:05:      Session 4   (choose 1)

    ·         Elizabeth Spencer Spragins - Knot the Plot in Flash Fiction

    ·         Diane Fanning - Writing is a Crime

    ·         Ken Conklin - The Do's and Don'ts of Self-Publishing

    •    Joanne Liggan - Creating Unforgettable Characters and Plots



    Early Bird Registration is from June 4 to June 30th.

    Early Bird price is $65 for members and $75 for non-members. 

    After July 1, prices will be $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

    Early Bird price for student members is $40 and non-member students is $50.

    After July 1, student prices will be $50 for members and $60 for non-members.

    Lifetime members may attend at no charge.

    Registration includes access to all workshops (one from each session), the symposium booklet (available online), plus lunch.

    Lunch Menu Choices:

    Bavarian Blast Sandwich: Virginia-Cured Ham with Smoked Gouda Cheese, Honey Mustard Dressing, Leaf Lettuce and Tomatoes on a Pretzel Roll

    Country Chicken Salad Sandwich: White-Meat, Country-Style Chicken Salad with Leaf Lettuce and Vine-Ripened Tomato on a Brioche Roll

    Turkey Club Wrap: Smoked Turkey Breast, Monterey Jack Cheese, Applewood Bacon, Red Leaf Lettuce, Sliced Tomato and Mayonnaise in a Spinach Tortilla

    Veggie Explosion Wrap: California Asparagus, Leaf Lettuce, Feta Cheese, Micro Greens, Roasted Red Peppers and Boursin® Cheese Spread in a Tortilla

    Click Here to Register!

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