Keith Ferrell (above) and Cara Modisett (below) will open RRWC IV in January.^
The Roanoke Regional Writers Conference IV, scheduled Jan. 28 and 29 at Hollins University in Roanoke, will kick off on Friday evening with a keynote address by long-time Blue Ridge Country magazine editor Cara Ellen Modisett.
Cara has announced that she will step down at the end of May as the full-time editor but will remain involved part-time with the magazine as she pursues an MFA from Goucher College in Baltimore. She says her topic will likely have a good bit to do with transitions writers often make.
Keith Ferrell, the former editor of Omni Magazine, will open the evening with a talk titled “Why Caring About Your Writing Is More Important and Valuable Than Ever, Or: Write Like Your Life Depends Upon It – Just Don’t Depend on Your Writing for a Livelihood.” Keith enjoys both the long form and the cheerful, as his title exemplifies.
Cara moved to Roanoke in 1998 as an intern after graduating summa cum laude from James Madison University with degrees in piano performance and English education. That internship turned into a full-time editing position with Leisure Publishing, and since 2004 she has been editor of Blue Ridge Country.
Besides her work at the magazine, she is a producer and reporter for WVTF public radio, music leader at St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church and a performing classical pianist. She written text for two books of Blue Ridge Parkway photography; blogs at RidgeLines; state, national and international awards for writing, editing, radio production and photography; named among the Top 20 Under 40 in Western Virginia by the Blue Ridge Business Journal; has interviewed figures ranging from Ted Koppel to Joan Baez; and is founding co-producer of Studio Virginia.
Music performances have included recitals at University of Richmond, Hollins University, Radford University, Washington & Lee University and Ferrum College; pit orchestra work at Mill Mountain Theatre, Radford University and Washington & Lee; major choral accompanying for St. John's Music on the Corner.
She has taught workshops for Tennessee Mountain Writers, Virginia Highlands Festival, Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, Roanoke County Schools; and she is a member of American Society of Magazine Editors, Society of Environmental Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge.
The author of more than a dozen books, including novels and biographies, Keith Ferrell has also written more than 2,000 magazine, newspaper, and encyclopedia articles and essays on scientific, technical, historical, cultural, and political topics.
From 1990 to 1996 Ferrell was the editor of OMNI Magazine, the world’s largest circulation science magazine; additionally he was editorial director of the Compute family of books and magazines, as well as senior vice president of parent company Penthouse/General Media International.
In 1994 Ferrell oversaw the launch of OMNI On-Line, the first major magazine to make the transition to Internet publication. As a freelancer, Ferrell has written and co-designed several interactive computer games as well as articles, essays, and books.
He has spoken to business, government, and educational audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has appeared frequently on television and radio throughout the world. Recent publications include articles on the history of glass, the perils and inaccuracies of Internet-based information, the challenges and dangers inherent in surveillance technologies, the variety of crises in corporate governance, the inappropriateness of teaching intelligent design as science and the necessity to teach the fact of biological evolution, and the origins of unusual words.
He blogs on information security issues for Informationweek SMB and his personal blog can be found here.
Organizers are working as we speak in lining up teachers--and there are some good ones on the way. Keep a watch on this blog for registration information and for complete details, including a list of teachers.
Roanoke Writers is the blog of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, held the fourth Friday and Saturday of each January at Hollins University. This blog will keep you updated as we put together details of the 2011 conference. Send your news items to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make them part of the blog.