Connectivity – How do YOU connect with other writer?

Never has the ability to connect to people who share your interests been easier. This newfangled thing called the internet makes the world a cozier place. Unless we live in a cave with no electricity, we all live in the web and are connected.

Writers have amazing resources available to them. There are communities, blogs, and social media available for support and information. There are friends to be made and predators to avoid – just like the real world.

If you crave an ‘in-person’ connection, there are plenty of opportunities. Writers conferences, book expos, author appearances, classes & conventions that cater to every genre under the sun. This type of connection puts faces and names together and creates new connections.


Why am I talking about all this connectivity?

Simple, the act of creating our stories is a solitary endeavor. The act of becoming published is filled with beta readers, writer groups, agents, editors, and more. A writing conference is a way to forge connections in a personal and immediate way.

In 2005, I had just moved down to Richmond, VA. I was driving to my new job and heard a spot on the local NPR station (WCVE) for a local writers conference. The date was doable and, after a little more research, affordable.

For years I had scribbled down ideas, scenes, and half-finished manuscript. I couldn’t label myself as a writer, merely a scribbler.

Well, that sentiment was a lack of confidence on my part.

I remember walking into the conference and feeling immediately overwhelmed. Surrounded by writers, I felt exposed and filled with an overwhelming need to find a dark corner where I could watch everything around me (I was a bit of an introvert).

Nobody puts Leila in a corner (not even me).

Did I become a social butterfly in the James River Writers scene? No, I watched everyone around me and listened to the myriad of talented agents, authors, and fellow writers. Then I started making my connections. It’s been nine years and I’m a regular volunteer, a board member, and surrounded by amazing people who have made me a better writer and person.

Now we’ve reached our shameless promotion section of the post.



Come to Richmond, VA and experience a writers conference where the attendees and guests are enriched and uplifted. Our award-winning speakers include:

**These speakers will be conducting master classes on October 17, 2014. 

We writers are filled with modest and humongous dreams that drive us and scare our pants off.  Look at a writers conference as a dress rehearsal for the time you make your publication dreams come true. You will connect on a personal and professional level with others who will help you support your dreams.

Dream big and don’t be afraid to trip and fall. It’s all material for our stories. Now, get out there and register for a conference (did I mention JRW has a pretty awesome one?) and write!

Upcoming events:

  • August 28th 6:30pm at the Broadberry – How to Lose an Agent in 10 Steps with agent John Cusick.
  • September 15th 7pm – JRW Twitter Chat with The Book Doctors follow @jamesrvrwriters @thebookdoctors and hashtag #jrw14
  • September 23rd 7pm – JRW Twitter Chat with Hugh Howey follow @jamesrvrwriters @hughhowey and hashtag #jrw14
  • October 17th –  James River Writers Conference Master classes with Hugh Howey, Jane Friedman, Kelly O’Connor McNees, Jody Rein, and Sheri Reynolds
  • October 18th-19th – 12th Annual James River Writers Conferenceregister now!


  • Mingling with other writers is really fun. Be among like minds. I’ve never attended a conference but hope to one day.

    • I’ll be honest. At the end of a conference, I’m a strange and weird amalgam of exhausted and invigorated. I always come away inspired and excited for the next step. Each conference is unique. The convergence of creative energy is amazing. 🙂

      • I can imagine I feel excited when I get my Writer’s Digest magazine.

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