• 15 Virginia Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 1 comment

    VirginiaThe next state up in our State Writing Resources series is … not a state. It’s a commonwealth, yo! Beautiful Virginia, known as Old Dominion, or the Mother of States(!). Yeah, the Mother of States is not a state. Figure that one out. I once took sort of a gap year in Virginia, worked at a bookstore in a tiny town called Shirlington, slipped over into D.C. as often as I could, which was hardly ever.

    Virginia writing boasts some heavy hitters with state ties, as you might expect, including such names as: Edgar Allan Poe, V.C. Andrews, Tom Wolfe, Adriana Trigiani, and Elizabeth Massie. My man Tom Robbins spent some years in Virginia, honing his hilarity. Rita Dove was the state’s commonwealth’s poet laureate in 1987. Ann Beattie grew up in nearby D.C. and teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. And the list goes on and on. Don’t even get me started on Diane Mott Davidson.

    Point is, Virginia writing has a rich past, and perhaps an equally rich present. And the following organizations are a large part of that.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 15 Virginia writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are an Old Dominioner or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at.

    1) Writer House

    An affordable, secure workspace and meeting space, offering high quality writing instruction (workshops and seminars) and literary events for the public.

    2) Association of Writers and Writing Programs

    Provides support, advocacy, resources and community to nearly 50,000 writers, 500 college and university creative writing programs, and 125 writers’ conferences and centers. Its annual conference draws nearly 10,000 writers from all over the world.

    3) Cave Canem

    Committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. Offers readings, workshops, retreats and fellowships.

    4) Poetry Society of Virginia

    A nonprofit membership organization that promotes poetry through monthly open mics, workshops, contests and readings.

    5) Virginia Writers Club

    A statewide organization with the purpose of supporting and stimulating the art, craft and business of writing. Has several local chapters, each with its own series of events.

    6) Virginia Quarterly Review

    A top-tier literary magazine which offers new fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and much more.

    7) The Muse Writers Center

    Based in Norfolk, Virginia, and offering workshops, readings and many other literary events.

    8) Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop

    Workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting and poetry, led by accomplished faculty. Class sizes of no more than 12 students, as well as readings, manuscript reviews and craft seminars.

    9) Furious Flower Poetry Center

    Hosts visiting poets, sponsors poetry workshops for emerging poets, holds an annual poetry camp for children in the community, and produces scholarly texts, videos and DVDs on African American poetry.

    10) Meridian

    A semiannual literary journal produced at the University of Virginia. Offers poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and holds annual writing contests.

    11) The Annual Literary Festival

    Readings, panels, workshops and community involvement. Now in its 36th year.

    12) Fall for the Book

    An annual week-long, multiple-venue, regional festival held by George Mason University. Offers book prizes, readings, panel discussions and more.

    13) Shenandoah

    After 60-plus years in print, this prominent literary magazine is now online-only. Accepts fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

    14) Virginia Festival of the Book

    The largest gathering of authors, writers and readers in the state. Offers readings and signings, panels and workshops.

    15) James River Writers

    Watershed events in writing, reading and community.

    Virginia flagHelp us add to this list, Virginians! Do you run a local writing group or a lit journal we should be aware of? Feel free to share info and links in the comments section below.

    0 0 votes
    Article Rating
    Notify of

    1 Comment
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    […] and Margaret Craven (I Heard the Owl Call My Name). Tom Robbins, who I got to mention in our Virginia post, lives, and has written most of his great books, in […]

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x