Valley Business FRONT Post – 2009 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference

From Dan Smith, Editor, Valley Business FRONT:

The Roanoke Regional Writers Conference enters its second year with a new venue, a lot of new faces and a new format. The conference is scheduled Jan. 23-24 at Hollins University. It was held at the Jefferson Center in its inaugural year. The conference is sponsored by Valley Business FRONT magazine and Hollins University’s writing program.

The new format will feature two specific topics examined by several writers each, along with 19 other classes scheduled Saturday. Southern Living Editor Cassandra Vanhooser, freelance writer Sarah Cox, Highland County newspaper Publisher Anne Adams and writer/editor Elizabeth Parsons will be part of the team presenting ”Writing For and About Women.” The second set of classes is ”Writing About the Outdoors,” featuring Blue Ridge Parkway writer Leonard Adkins, new Sportswriting Hall of Fame member Bill Cochran, and essayist Liza Field.

Saturday’s classes will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday will feature a wine reception with Vanhooser giving a keynote address about finding writing jobs in a tough economy. Internationally known motivational speaker Sandy Smith will open the conference with a talk on the challenge of a lonely profession. Noted novelist Sharyn McCrumb is among the teachers. Others include NPR essayist Janis Jaquith, freelance wriiter Gene Marrano, editor/novelist Keith Ferrell, novelists Lisa Solod Warren and Tiffany Trent and editor/writers Kurt Rheinheimer, Cara Modisett and Dan Smith.

The cost of the two sessions (including the reception, a continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday) is $50. Students may register at
Some of the proceeds from the non-profit conference will be applied to a scholarship for a Hollins Horizon student.

Let me mention that anybody who writes anything–whether for business, pleasure, journalism, memoir, fiction, history, blogs, etc.–will benefit. The extra perk is the marvelous networking (I have hired five freelance writers out of the previous three writers conferences I've attended and this one will have about six editors as teachers, all of whom employ freelancers).

Frankly, even if you don't write, listening to my brother (an internationally-known motivational speaker, management consultant and executive coach) is worth far, far more than the price of admission. He makes thousands of dollars for an appearance like this one, but he owes me big – my mother liked me best and he used to beat the heck out of me every day.

Dan Smith wrote about the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference previously for Handshake 2.0.

The Valley Business FRONT Post is written by Dan Smith, Editor, Valley Business FRONT, a monthly business magazine featuring the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley of Virginia.  Dan Smith writes the blog fromtheeditr.

Dan Smith's e-mail signature quotes Kingsley Amis:  "If you can't annoy somebody, why write?'

The opinions Dan Smith expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0.

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