Saturday, June 26, 2010

Literary Agents To Teach at Roanoke Regional Writers Conference

George Oliver and Joan Timberlake.^

The roster of outstanding teachers for the 2011 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference is nearly complete with the addition of two literary agents, Joan Timberlake and George Oliver, responding to a chorus of requests from students over the past three years.

Timberlake and Oliver are veterans of the book wars and—as a sidelight—they’re looking for writers and books.

The keynote speaker for next year’s conference (which was recently part of a two-page spread in Writers Digest, focusing on four conferences in the entire country) is Cara Modisett, who recently left Blue Ridge Country magazine as its award-winning editor for the past 12 years. She will be joined on the opening-night podium by former Omni Magazine editor Keith Ferrell, editor of more than a dozen books and a broadly published magazine writer.

The roster this year includes a number of well-known regional writers, not the least of which are veteran editors Kurt Rheinheimer of the Roanoker Magazine and Dan Smith of Valley Business FRONT. Them will team up for a unique class, talking about their combined 80 years in the business and the lessons learned during that time.

The conference is scheduled Jan. 28-29 at Hollins University. A registration site will be available soon. the cost is only $50 for two days of conference, including 24 classes and a roundtable discussion.

Oliver and Timberlake will teach two classes, one following the other, titled, “Getting Agents To Look at Your Manuscript” and they will teach fiction and nonfiction angles. Oliver has degrees in German, English, and Linguistics, and has had a long career in teaching language and writing in varying venues, including 20 years at the University of Maryland. He keeps an irregular food blog and is compiling an anthology of his food writing. He handles non-fiction at Timberlake-Oliver Literary Services.

Timberlake has an M.A. in English Literature from Long Island University and a law degree from West Virginia University. She is founder of Timberlake-Oliver Literary Services. She has taught nonfiction disciplines including legal, business, technical, and grammar/editing and fiction disciplines including novel, short story, essay, mystery, and humorous writing at the Maryland University and Johns Hopkins University, has worked as a writer/editor in many large corporations.


  1. so if you are a writer, how do you get your work in front of these folks?

  2. What authors do they currently represent? To what publishers have they sold books?

  3. Look on our website for guidelines: