New River Writers Project Hosts Writers Focus Group

An engineer, an editor, and a teacher go into a bar – make that a coffee shop – and the barista says, "What'll you have?" Their answer: "Art of place."

New River Writers Project will meet at Easy Chair Coffee Shop The engineer: Mike Abbott, chairman of the New River Writers Project. The editor: Chris Winston, vice chairman. The teacher: Jeanine Maddox, secretary.  These three founding members of the New River Writers Project of Virginia join Molly Morikawa Selznick, Donna Alvis Banks, and Michael J. Garvin to make up the rest of the board.  Their vision: To become the region's leading promoter of "art of place."

According to Mike Abbott, the goal is to “improve awareness of our shared culture, strengthen our educational system, and build communities within this region we call home.”

Inspired by the success of the Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the New River Writers Project strives to build a vibrant, active community of writers, create educational outreach programs to engage youth in reading and writing, and to publish works by local writers. The first group publishing project is slated for 2010 and will be the “New River Anthology, Volume I,” a collection of personal essays and memoirs written by established authors influenced or inspired by life in the region.

Their first event will be a "Writers 'focus' group," open to writers of any genre, at Easy Chair Coffee Shop, located at University Mall in Blacksburg, Virginia, on Monday, August 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm.

According to the New River Writers Project Facebook page, “We are looking for area writers of fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, to gather for a few minutes to discuss what they are looking for in a local writers group.”  

“We look forward to the cross pollination of ideas, between genres of literary arts, and between backgrounds of the people involved,” Abbot said.


Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow her on Twitter at @zkellyq.

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