Published February 17, 2021

Are you working on a book and wondering how to get it in the hands of readers? Hoping to start writing a novel, but not sure where to begin? Mark your calendar for the events in the Virginia Writing & Publishing series in the 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book to learn the ins and outs of writing and publishing from experienced authors, editors, agents, and other publishing industry professionals.

The Virginia Writing & Publishing series is hosted by these writing centers and organizations across Virginia: 1455 Literary Arts (Winchester), James River Writers (Richmond), The Muse Writers Center (Norfolk), Randolph College MFA (Lynchburg), Watershed Lit Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice (Fairfax), and WriterHouse (Charlottesville). Keep reading for the full schedule of events in the Virginia Writing & Publishing series…

Trubek, So you want to publish a book

The Write Start: Moseley Speed Critiques

March 13, 12 PM-12:45 PM: Submit your first one hundred words of an original, unpublished manuscript for a speed critique by members of the Moseley Writers Group, all of whom are published in a number of genres. The Moseley Writers will read the anonymous first pages aloud, will discuss story elements that work, and will suggest story elements that could be improved. Entries will be critiqued according to the order in which they were received. The earlier you send your entry, the more likely it will be critiqued. Nonfiction, horror, violent material and erotica will not be considered. No attachments. Paste your entry in an email to by Monday, March 8, 2021.

Editing and Publishing: Tips and Information You Can Use Right Now

March 13, 2 PM-2:45 PM: Join editor and author Kris Spisak (The Novel Editing Workbook: 105 Tricks & Tips For Revising Your Fiction Manuscript) and publisher Anne Trubek (So You Want to Publish a Book?) as they discuss their work, writing, and books in conversation. Both of these books provide practical, hands-on information for writers at every level of expertise and for all types of work.

Before and After the Book Deal: A Conversation with Courtney Maum

March 13, 4 PM-4:45 PM: Acclaimed author Courtney Maum shares everything you’ve ever wanted to know about publishing but were too afraid to ask, in conversation with Sean Murphy. Her funny, candid guide, Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book, has over 150 contributors from all walks of the industry, including international bestselling authors Anthony Doerr, Roxane Gay, Garth Greenwell, Lisa Ko, R. O. Kwon, Rebecca Makkai, and Ottessa Moshfegh, alongside cult favorites Sarah Gerard, Melissa Febos, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Mira Jacob. Agents, film scouts, film producers, translators, disability and minority activists, and power agents and editors also weigh in, offering advice and sharing intimate anecdotes about even the most taboo topics in the industry.

Hosted by 1455 Literary Arts

Audiobook Publishing 101 for Authors

March 14, 12 PM-1PM: Hear audiobook narrators and producers Andi ArndtRon ButlerPaul Heitsch, and Karen White present an overview of the range of audiobook publishing options available to authors in the current landscape, whether independently or traditionally published in print. Moderated by Michele Cobb, publisher of AudioFile magazine, the participants will discuss audio rights, production costs and various models of payment, and tips on casting, with time for questions. The participants have years of experience producing and narrating hundreds of books.

Law and Authors: Jacqueline Lipton in Conversation with Jane Friedman

March 14, 2 PM-3 PM: Jacqueline Lipton, law professor, consultant, and literary agent, discusses her accessible, reader-friendly handbook for authors, agents, and editors in navigating the legal landscape of the contemporary publishing industry, in conversation with publishing expert Jane Friedman. In Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers, Lipton addresses issues of copyright, explaining fair use and public domain; trademark and branding concerns; laws that impact the ways authors might use social media and marketing promotions; and privacy and defamation questions writers may face.

Hosted by WriterHouse

Agents Roundtable

March 14, 4 PM-5 PM: Literary agents discuss authors and genres they represent, work they seek, and take questions from attendees about any part of the process. April Eberhardt (April Eberhardt Literary), Cherise Fisher (Wendy Sherman Associates Literary Management), Rayhané Sanders (Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents), and Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary) will participate.

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