Saturday, January 30, 2010

The future of getting paid to write, part deux

Anne Clelland, who runs a marketing company in Blacksburg that concentrates its efforts on the Internet, was part of a panel at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference that talked about the future of making money by writing.

Anne and Keith Ferrell had some interesting exchanges about what should be paid and how it would be paid in the future and Keith was quoted extensively in a piece here. Anne promised to reply after some thought.

Here and here, fully thoughtful as always and two for the price of one.

This is a good read for those who are pondering the always imponderable question, "What next?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

'The Ballad of Miss Kay': The story of a time and a team

Miss Kay and the 1961 Cranberry High square dance team with one of its trophies.

At an all-class Cranberry High reunion this past summer, former championship dancers--in their 60s and 70s--took to the floor for a do-se-do.

Blue Ridge Country magazine has a story in its current issue by Dan Smith, founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference and editor of Valley Business FRONT magazine, about the woman who coached the square dance team at his remote, rural high school for more than 35 years. She won a number of state titles and two national championships at a school with about 350 students between 1948 and the early 1980s.

Smith was one of her students in 1964 and watched the square dance team then in amazement at its strength and grace--partly because almost all of its members were athletes in other sports, some Smith's football teammates.

It is a remarkable story of a time and a place where this could unfold and did, concentrating on a woman of strength, determination, talent and skill who was never paid to coach and never spoke a word of complaint that she didn't. Kay Wilkins--Miss Kay--taught and coached for the love of it.

You can read the story in full here.

PRSA to hear health department info officer

Public health crises deserve timely, consistent, and confident information in order to stop or slow the spread of disease. Robert Parker, Public Information Officer for the Virginia Department of Health, will be speaking to Blue Ridge PRSA about how his work helps provide this information for the people of Virginia.

He will specifically be focusing on the public relations implications of the H1N1 flu virus and other public health concerns. The luncheon will be held Thursday, February 11, 2010 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

You man reserve a seat at the noon luncheon online at The cost for BRC-PRSA members is $22; non-members may attend the luncheon for $30. The cost for students and interns is $17. Reservations are due by 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7.

Janis Jaquith's speech is right here

Janis Jaquith's keynote speech was such a hit at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference last week that she has recorded it and put it on line so you can listen. It is here.

If you'd rather spend a little time with the written speech, you can find it here.

It is a marvelous speech from one of the region's finest writers. Janis, as always, is fall-down funny, but there is a depth and breadth to the speech that writers will especially appreciate. Take a few minutes and listen. It's worth your time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Valentine's Day date suggestion

Michael Martone and Moira Crone, fiction writers who create “from material that’s deeply personal and wonderingly odd,” according to one description, will appear at the Hollins Room of the Wyndham Robertson Library at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Michael Martone teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of Alabama and is the author of many bold, funny and puzzling books. Moira Crone is a dominant presence in New Stories from the South, and a winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Southern Fellowship of Writers for the body of her work.

The talk is sponsored by the Beanstalk Fund, a joint venture of Hollins’ Creative Writing Program and the Wyndham Robertson Library to bring writers and readers together.

Welcome to the RRWC blog

The opening night house was packed.

Conference organizer Dan Smith with Hollins' Celia McCormick (left) and scholarship winner Elizabeth Jones.

Conference speakers Sara Elizabeth Timmins (left) and Janis Jaquith share a laugh with conference organizer Dan Smith.

Anne Clelland of Handshake2.0 talks to a full class about blogging.

The Roanoke Regional Writers Conference has just finished its third year of operation and in the past two years, it has given $2,500 in scholarship money to a writing student in the Horizon program (non-traditional students) at Hollins University.

The conference is held the fourth Friday and Saturday of each January (Jan. 28-29 in 2011) at Hollins and in the past has featured 24 classes, in addition to roundtable discussions and a networking reception. Conference organizers--Dan Smith, Chris Powell, Tom Field and Bonnie Cranmer for 2011--are working on next year's conference already and hope to have your suggestions in hand soon to make it the best conference we can create.

Keep an eye on this blog for updates. We hope to see you in 2011.