Virginia Writers’ Club Holds Event to help Self-Publishing Writers

VWC (Virginia Writers Club) held its annual meeting with Awards and Centennial Launch at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Mechanicsville, VA on Nov. 14, 2017.

About 70 members from all regions of Virginia (Appalachian Authors Guild, Blue Ridge Valley Writers, Hampton Roads Chesapeake Bay Writers, Richmond, Hanover, Northern Virginia, Riverside, Write by the rails) gathered to gain information about the literary self-publishing, with the help of Liz Long, Associate Editor for LeisureMedia360 in Roanoke, VA. She is also USA Today’s best-selling author for ten independently published novels and is active as a public speaker.

VWC will be celebrating its 100th Year Anniversary in 2018.

2017 Special Awards were Lifetime Achievement Award and Outstanding Service Award. Those Awards went to Patsy Anne Bickerstaff and Carolyn O’Neal.

( photo: Patsy Anne Bickerstaff, Special Awards were Lifetime Achievement Award 2017)

2017 Golden Nib awards with three parts: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction.

(Photo:  Erin Newton Wells,The First Place of Golden Nib Contest of Poetry and Fiction)

2017 Golden Nib Contest winner for Fiction and Poetry went to Erin Newton Wells of the Blue Ridge Chapter for If a Tree Falls and Variations on the Annual Theme.

With interview, she states ”

My early life was in Texas. I grew up in a family of writers, artists, and musicians, so working in the various arts seemed natural to me. My mother served as the Poet Laureate of Texas for several years and was well known among writers there. She was a great influence on me, as was my father, who wrote short stories. My sister is a concert violinist and violist. My brother is a writer, and all of us are artists. I had a wonderful art-filled childhood.

Later, I lived in Arizona, since my husband’s work as an astronomer took him there to an observatory, and this is where our two children were born. Eventually we moved to Virginia, also for astronomy. My own studies have centered in early languages, especially Germanic and Celtic, as well as in literature. And always in my work there is writing, art, and music.

In Charlottesville, I established a school for studio art and have taught for many years, with an extensive curriculum. Throughout these years of teaching and caring for my family I have also been writing. But I have now begun to increase the time I spend at this. My main concentration has always been on poetry. I consider it the most difficult genre, and, therefore, it is the most interesting to me. In poetry, which is a very condensed form of writing, every word matters immensely, and finding just the right one to express an idea takes much thought. I also enjoy writing prose, but I use it as a way to take a short break from poetry. After concentrating on poetry, writing short stories and essays seems fast and easy. It helps me relax, so I can return to my main work.

I have so many ideas I would like to put into writing, and I feel I have an obligation to do this. I would like to help other people see and understand things that they might not have seen otherwise. This is what I do with my art and my art instruction, and it is what I try to do with my writing.”

Erin Newton Wells writes poetry and prose and also teaches studio art. Her work appears in The MacGuffin, Poetry South, The Poeteer, Piedmont Magazine, Form Poetry, A Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Spillway, Skyline Anthology, The Best of the Virginia Writers Club: Centennial Anthology and Virginia Poetry Review, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards for both poetry and prose, including from the Academy of American Poets.

2017 Golden Nib contest winners:


1st place: Variations on the Annul Theme by Erin Newton Wells (BRC)

2nd place: Dream Child by Mary Coffman-Burke (RC)

3rd place: Constellations by Sally Zakariya (WRC)


1st place : If a Tree Falls by Erin Newton Wells (BRC)

2nd place: The Wild One by Ann Eichenmuller(CBWC)

3rd place: Linda’s New Diary by Danielle Dayney (RC)


1st place: First Dance by Roger Tolle (BC)

2nd place: The Christmas Pony by John M. Koelsch(VWC)

3rd place: Summer Picnics and Homemade Ice Cream by Madalin Bickel (RC)

(Photo:Liz Long, Associate Editor for LeisureMedia360, USA’Today’s best-selling author)

VWC consists of 10 different districts from Appalachian Authors Guild (City of Norton and Counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Washington & Wise and even north-east Tennessee) to Blue Ridge (Charlottesville, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro, and counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Orange), Chesapeake Bay Writers (Williamsburg and the counties of Charles City, Essex, Gloucester, James City, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland), Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach), Hanover Writers (the counties of Hanover, King William, and eastern Henrico), Northern Virginia(the counties of Fairfax and Arlington, the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, and the surrounding areas), Richmond (Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, Goochland and Powhatan), Riverside Writers (City of Fredericksburg and counties of Caroline, King George, Louisa, Spotsylvania, Stafford and portions of the adjoining areas), Valley Writers (City of Roanoke and surrounding areas),Write by the Rails (Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park) to serve the needs of the writers and the writing communities and brighten the literary landscape of Virginia and beyond.

(Photo: Left to the right, June Forte, Corih Kim, Cindy Brookshire)



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