Annually, VWC has two large events, the Symposium in Charlottesville the first Saturday in August, and the annual meeting the first Saturday in November in Richmond. This year’s keynote speaker for the annual meeting will be Virginia’s poet laureate, Sofia Starnes. We also support local writing events through grants and sponsorships. Lest I forget, we offer scholarships to deserving high school students who want to specialize in creative writing.
I encourage members to contact me with new ideas to provide value and to make the club more accessible to writers all over the state. Not everyone lives near a chapter, so we have to design programs where remote writers feel included.
This year’s Symposium, Navigating Your Writing Life, will give participants many how-to tips on publishing, using social media, turning manuscripts into e-books, publishing scams to avoid and other topics. When they leave the last event, participants will have at least one tool to use immediately. Use of such tools is not dependent on where you are in your writing career. Writers just starting out may want to build a resume through contests and submitting to various magazines. Poets will learn more about their market, as will writers of young adult fiction. A writer whose book is coming out next year needs to learn how to use social media to create a buzz prior to publication.
We are so proud that our Symposium’s keynote speaker is Kathleen Grissom, featured in your recent blog post. A New York Times best selling author, Grissom’s debut novel, The Kitchen House, spent more than thirty weeks on the NYT list and has sold over 500,000 copies in three years. Ms. Grissom will be talking about how she turned her book into a best seller by word of mouth. She tapped into book clubs, speaking to local clubs and using Skype for more remote clubs. She offers book clubs questions to begin the conversation. Hers is an inspiring story, one many writers can emulate if they are willing to work at marketing their books.