Friday, March 20, 2:00pm, Central Library on Market Street

Writing from inside the heads of fictional characters requires intuitive or professional understanding of human psychology. Authors Jacob Appel (The Biology of Luck), Chloe Benjamin (The Anatomy of Dreams), and Susan Coll (The Stager) will discuss the process of divining their characters’ psyches.


Friday, February 13, at 7:00 pm

rufi thorpeFrom Pride and Prejudice to Bridget Jones's Diary, the novel has had a tendency to focus on the romantic lives of women: how to find love, whom to marry, and what happens along the way. But what is the story of a woman's life without the marriage plot? What are women's lives really about? And how do we make meaning out of our relationships to our friends, to our children, and to ourselves? UVA professor Alison Booth will talk with novelist Rufi Thorpe about her struggles as a writer to portray women as they are, and what happens when you write a novel that does not rely on marriage for its structural framework. Free and open to the public.


Read more: Breaking Free from the Marriage Plot: Writing Female Friendship

Friday, January 30, 7:00 pm

Charles LewisJournalist Courteney Stuart will interview investigative journalist and bestselling author Charles Lewis about his latest book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity. He will discuss his nine-year odyssey attempting to chronicle the most "mortally consequential" untruths by the U.S. government and major corporations since World War II. In this ephemeral, 140-character world, where exactly is the line between journalism and history? Is there such a thing as real-time truth, or must we wait years or even decades to find out about the systemic abuses by the powers that be? Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Gary and Elizabeth McCullough.

Read more: Separating Fact from Fiction, Truth from Truthiness: A Literary Salon with Charles Lewis

Sunday, December 7, at 2:00 pm 

AndrewKaufmanSqJoin us on Sunday, December 7, at 2:00 PM, when UVA religious studies professor Dr. Kristin Swenson will interview Dr. Andrew D. Kaufman, a renowned Russian literature scholar, about how he turned his lifelong passion for Tolstoy into his recent work of creative nonfiction, Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Kaufman will talk about how he made the transition from academic to trade publishing, the relationship between his life as a literary scholar and his life as a writer, and what he learned from Tolstoy about writing prose. Free and open to the public.

Read more: Descending from the Tower: From Academic to Popular Writing

Friday, November 14, at 7:00 pm

ed falcoFiction writer Andrew Martin will interview author Ed Falco about his novel Toughs and the questions that arise when writing a novel based on historical events. Is the author required to present an accurate picture of the historical character, or is it okay to manipulate the character to the purposes of the novel? Should the author be faithful to events as they transpired, or is it permissible to manipulate events to fit the structure of the novel? Free and open to the public.

Read more: History as Fiction, Fiction as History: A Literary Salon with Ed Falco

Friday, October 24, at 7:00 pm

Erika MeitnerPoet Erika Meitner will talk with fellow poet Kevin McFadden about the idea of poetry as documentary: what happens when you take on an assignment to report on an entire city—in verse? In 2010, Meitner went to Detroit on assignment for VQR to find out the answer. In the process, she discovered new poetic tactics for documenting her own personal struggles in an unflinching way. Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by David Wimberley.

Read more: Poetry as Documentary: A Literary Salon with Erika Meitner

Friday, September 12, at 7:00 pm

Lisa GornickNovelist Virginia Pye will interview writer Lisa Gornick about the importance of travel to her writing, including her experience visiting the Amazonian city of Iquitos Peru after having imagined it as the home of one of the characters in her latest novel, Tinderbox (released in paperback from Picador on September 2). She will also discuss how travel can be an exercise in imagination, deepening our capacities to imagine other worlds and times. Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Clifford Garstang.

Read more: On Being a Writer-Traveler (Not a Travel-Writer)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sheri Reynolds EventWe've all learned that in order for characters to be sympathetic, they must be capable of change. Author Sheri Reynolds maintains that what's true for the character is also true for the writer. She talked with novelist Susan Gregg Gilmore  about character evolution, the importance of putting characters into positions that force their growth, and the importance of taking risks as writers in order to grow in our craft. Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Jody Hobbs Hesler and Jeffrey Hesler.

Read more: Growing Up on the Page: How Characters and Their Writers Evolve

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

Josh Weil Event 2014Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea, talked to UVA Slavic studies professor Andrew D. Kaufman about the challenges, both internal and external, of breaking far away from yourself in your fiction, and the ways in which doing so can bring you closer to your core project at the same time. He also discussed his relationship with Russian culture and his current fascination with humanity's efforts to bring light into darkness.

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below:

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Sponsored by Sharon and James Harrigan.

Thursday, June 26th 2014 

James Magruder EventAre there novelists out there thinking about writing a play? Or playwrights wanting to attempt fiction? Writer James Magruder, who started his first short story in 2001 after sixteen years in show business as a dramaturg, translator, and musical book writer, discusses his new story collection, Let Me See It, and how his career in professional theatre has both warped and enhanced his writing with actor and writer Gare Galbraith.

James Magruder's adaptations of Moliere, Marivaux, Lesage, Labiche, Gozzi, Hofmannsthal, and Dickens have been produced on- and off-Broadway, at regional theatres across the country, and in Germany and Japan. His first novel, Sugarless, was a Lambda Award Finalist in 2010, and his first story collection, Let Me See It, was published in June 2014 by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. He lives in Baltimore.

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below:

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Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Cecilia Llompart and discussed herCecilia Llompart new bookThe Wingless with Virginia Quarterly Review Managing Editor Allison Wright, exploring what it meant to be an artist, specifically that it  may require feeling you’re on the “outside” at one point or other in your  life. The discussion went into whether differing languages have different  beauties, and what it’s like to live as an artist and to attempt to make a  living as an artist. 

 Cecilia Llompart was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. Her first  collection,The Wingless, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press  in the spring of 2014. She is the recipient of two awards from the Academy of  American Poets, and her poems have appeared in TriQuarterly,The Caribbean Writerpoets.org, and other journals. Most recently, she served as guest editor forMatter: A Journal of Political Poetry and Commentary, and she will be teaching high school students while serving as chair of creative writing for BLUR: The Blue Ridge Summer Institute for Young Artists in June 2014.


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Friday, April 25, at 7:00 pm

Jane AlisonAuthor Jane Alison will talk with memoirist Sharon Harrigan what happens when what you need to write is the truth—but you know that the truth will be painful, for you or for others. Alison will explore the risks you take when writing from personal experience and will share her own slow journey from fiction to memoir.  Free and open to the public.

Jane Alison was born in Canberra, Australia, and studied classics at Princeton and Brown universities and creative writing at Columbia. Her first novel, The Love-Artist, was published in 2001 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and has been translated into seven languages. It was followed by The Marriage of the Sea (FSG, 2003), Natives and Exotics (Harcourt, 2005), and  a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes (Harcourt, 2009). Her latest book is Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid, from Oxford University Press. Alison currently lives in Charlottesville and teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Friday, March 28, 2014, 7:00pm

Thomas-LarsonThomas Larson, author of The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease will discuss the intimate journey of writing about the three heart attacks he suffered in five years. His memoir gives voice to the vulnerability that shadows so many heart attack survivors, especially those who write about their disease or illness.

Free and open to the public 





Friday, March 21, 4:00pm, Central Library on Market Street

Susan Gregg Gilmore (The Funeral Dress), Mary Kay Zuravleff (Man Alive!), and Michael Parker (All I Have in this World) share their research stories and the process of melding their own knowledge with information from outside sources. Free and open to the public.

Susan Gregg Gilmore is the author of The Funeral Dress, a Southern Independent Bookseller's OKRA Pick, TARGET Emerging Author Selection, and TARGET Recommended Read. Gilmore has written for Garden & Gun, The Los Angeles Times, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive!, lives in Washington, D.C. Her earlier novels, The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy and the James Jones First Novel Award.

Michael Parker, author of All I Have in This World, has written seven novels, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. He teaches at UNC-Greensboro.

Thursday, February 6, 2014, 7:00pm

Dean King EventWhen Dean King set out to write about the Hatfields and the McCoys in his nonfiction book The Feud, he had to dig beneath layers of myth and popularized history to get as close as possible to the truth. Dean King talked with Henry Wiencek (author of Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves) about the interaction of myth and history and how to write about events and people that are already larger than life. Members of both the Hatfield and McCoy families were in the audience.

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014, 7:00pm

Chad Harbach EventThe room was packed with fans of Chad Harbach, author of the bestseller The Art of Fielding, editor of the forthcoming MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction, and editor of n+1 Magazine for a discussion of the current state of fiction writing with Moderator Jordan Taylor. 




Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below: 

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Please join us today, WriterHouse will be open for a Literary Salon with Kyle Dragan

Saturday, February 15, 2:00pm

Kyle DarganPoet Kyle Dargan will discuss the evolution of his voice over his three published collections and how writing to question the self rather than simply divulging what is guarded laid the foundation for his forthcoming collection Honest Engine (UGA 2015). Free and open to the public.

Kyle Dargan is the author of three collections of poetry, Logorrhea Dementia (UGA 2010), Bouquet of Hungers (UGA 2007) and The Listening (UGA 2003). Dargan has partnered with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities to produce poetry programming at the White House and Library of Congress. He is currently an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at American University and the founder and editor of POST NO ILLS magazine.

Friday, December 13, 2013
7:00 PM

2013-12-13-1-JarrettAward-winning poet TJ Jarrett discussed her book Ain’t No Grave, with poet Amy Woolard. Their conversation centered around ways of entering the historical poem as means to a greater understanding of history.

TJ Jarrett is a writer and software developer in Nashville, Tennessee. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in African American Review, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Boxcar Poetry Review, Callaloo, DIAGRAM, Ninth Letter, Linebreak, Rattle, Southern Poetry Anthology, Third Coast, West Branch and others. Her debut collection Ain’t No Grave was published with New Issues Press in the fall of 2013. Her second collection Zion (winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition 2013) will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in the fall of 2014.

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Friday, November 8, 2013, 7:00pm

Mary Kay ZuravleffMan Alive









Just as a single drop of sweat, saliva, or blood carries genetic information for an entire person, each element of the novel carries the entire book. Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive!, will talk about how every choice you make is key to the entire novel, including the first line, point of view, verb tense, plot, and sub plots. Free and open to the public.

Mary Kay Zuravleff latest novel is Man Alive!, of which Jane Hamilton wrote, "This is a book to share, reading sentences aloud to marvel at." Mary Kay's earlier books are The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls; all three are published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her honors include the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the James Jones First Novel Award. She has an MA from Johns Hopkins University.

Rebecca Makkai Event

Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:00 pm

In her novel The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai intentionally created a protagonist who makes terrible decisions. WIth librarian Monica Olivarez, she discussed how to keep readers engaged with a character whose actions they might not approve of.

Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based writer whose second novel, The Hundred-Year House, will be available from Viking/Penguin in summer, 2014. Her first novel, The Borrower, is a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection, and one of  Chicago Magazine's choices for best fiction of 2011. Her short fiction has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper's, Tin House, Ploughshares, and New England Review.

Monica Bauer EventThursday, June 27, 2013, 7:00 pm

Award winning playwright Monica Bauer (2012 Emerging Playwright Award, Urban Stages; 2011 Theater Arts Guild Award, 2009 Finalist for the Heideman Award from actors Theater of Louisville, and others) shares what it takes to give up the safety of the tenure track for the uncertain rewards of writing for off-off Broadway. Free and open to the public.

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