Monday, January 26, 2015

Roanoke Regional Writers Conference

This past weekend, I had the privilege of presenting a talk at the 8th annual Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I spoke on keeping a writer's journal and gave a power point presentation.

Journaling has long been a part of my life and I think it is a basic tool that every writer should utilize. I had offered a few successful courses in journaling through Virginia Western prior to the surgery that has messed up my life.

Anyway, the event began on Friday night with a meet and greet and keynote speakers.

In spite of a forecast of freezing rain, the turnout was good.

My old Hollins pal, Bonnie Cranmer. She helps organize the event. I hadn't seen her in a long time.
They had food and drink available.
We had a troubadour at our writer's conference. Greg Trafidlo and a fellow musician sang a little ditty about writer's block.

The keynote address was in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center. I sat at the very back because I knew I was going to have slip out early. In this picture are keynote speakers Roland Lazenby and Keith Ferrell, organizer Dan Smith (third from left), and on the far right in blue is Hollins University President Nancy Gray.

The actual conference, with classes, was Saturday. The guy above, (note that real men wear pink shirts), was my chaperon and helper for the day. Thank you, dear husband.

I ended up with about 15 students in my class. I don't know if that was about average for the class sizes but I think it probably was.

More of my class.
I showed off my Hobbit journal, which was a present from my husband. Go Hobbits!

This cute little pendant, a quill and ink pot, was my reward for the work. I shall place it on a string and treasure it always.

The proceeds for this writer's conference go toward a scholarship for the Hollins Horizon program. That's their program for older women who are returning to school. It is the program from which I received my degree, so I was happy to support something that I strongly believe in. Lifelong learning is a wonderful thing.

This presentation was actually a big deal thing for me. At one point I had a secret dream of returning to Hollins to work, or else coming back to be the writer in residence because I was so wonderfully famous. I don't see either happening (I haven't a Ph.D. and one of those is required to teach there now, I think, and I am not (yet) a wonderfully famous writer), so this little presentation will represent a fulfillment of that secret desire.

I now have one item scratched off the ol' bucket list, you might say, even if this was not how I had envisioned my triumphant return.

You can read about and see photos from the conference at organizer Dan Smith's blog here.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience, and hope you're feeling better!

  2. I hope you had a good workshop, Anita. Love the quill pendant!

  3. Looks like you had a good experience, Anita, and it is nice to cross things off a bucket list too.

  4. Wow! That's great! It speaks well of your writing that they invited you. Do you need a PhD to just teach one class, rather than a full professor?


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