Thursday, June 26th 2014 - From the Stage to the Page: A Literary Salon with writer James Magruder.

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. 

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, will be published this June by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. He lives in Baltimore.

Didn't get a chance to come see it? Listen to our podcast of the event below: 

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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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blue ribbon2Please join us Thursday, July 24, at 7:00 pm for a reading and celebration of the winning essays from our 2014 Creative Nonfiction Contest co-sponsored with C-VILLE Weekly.

Come celebrate the winners of the 2014 Creative Nonfiction Contest with a reading and celebration at WriterHouse. On Thursday evening, the three contest winners will share their winning essays with the public and receive their contest prizes. This will be a great opportunity to meet local writers and hear award-winning creative nonfiction. This event will be free and open to the public.

From nearly 150 entries, judge Jane Alison selected a winner in each of our three categories: Youth, Local Flavor, and General Creative Nonfiction. WriterHouse and C-Ville are grateful to the writing community for submitting so many excellent entries. Stay tuned for details about our next writing contest in early 2015. 

If you can't make it to the event, the winning essays will also be published in the 7/23 edition of C-VILLE Weekly. Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.


Friday, December 13, 2013
7:00 PM

TJ JarrettAint-No-GraveAward-winning poet TJ Jarrett will discuss her recent book Ain’t No Grave, and ways of entering the historical poem as means to a greater understanding of history, as well as the pitfalls of inserting the self into the historical moment. Free and open to the public.

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.

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 




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.

Please join us Friday, April 25, at 7:00 pm for a Literary Salon with author Jane Alison.

Jane AlisonAuthor Jane Alison will discuss 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.

Please join us Thursday, May 22, at 7:00 pm for a Literary Salon with poet Cecilia Llompart.

photo-3What does it mean to be an outsider? Is it as black and white as "Us versus Them," or are we all outsiders in one way or another? And how do you speak for those that cannot speak for themselves? Cecilia Llompart will discuss her new book The Wingless and writing as a way of finding your place in the world. Free and open to the public.

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 for Matter: 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.

Please join us Sunday, July 27, at 2:00 pm for a Literary Salon with writer Josh Weil.

Josh WeilAuthor Josh Weil talks to UVA Slavic studies professor Andrew D. Kaufman about the ways in which taking a leap into a drastically different character can open up your writing, and how setting a story in a place unsettlingly at odds with what you're used to can force an even greater specificity of vision into your work. He'll also talk 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. Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Sharon and James Harrigan.

Read more: Far from Your Own Shores: The Risks and Rewards of Writing What You Don’t Know

Death of Fidel PerezLiz Huergo Event 3

Sunday, October 6, 2013
3:00-5:00 pm

Elizabeth Huergo discussed the power of place in evoking history and how the city of Havana became a character in her debut novel The Death of Fidel Perez (Unbridled 2013).


Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below.

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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.


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.

Virginia Pye EventThursday, May 23, 2013
7:00 pm

Family stories often rattle around in our minds for years or even decades before we are ready to bring them to life in our writing. Virginia Pye, author of River of Dust (Unbridled Books, 2013) talked with Clifford Garstang, author of What the Zhang Boys Know (Press 53, 2012), about how to determine which stories are worth exploring and using family facts as inspiration for new and surprising creations. Free and open to the public.

CommemorationFriday, April 26, 2013, 7:00pm

Tennessee poet and teacher Lisa Dordal will read from and discuss her chapbook,  Commemoration (Finishing Line Press, 2012), which explores issues of psychological confinement arising from damaging and restrictive societal expectations for women, focusing on the specific experience of a closeted lesbian trying to fit her life into the prescribed script of heterosexuality and on the deep points of interconnection between the speaker's life and that of her mother. Free and open to the public.

Lisa will also be teaching a seminar the following day, Saturday, April 27, 2013: Exercising the Poetic Mind.


Barbara Slate eventThursday, March 21, 2013 4:00pm

Barbara Slate (author of You Can Do a Graphic Novel and Getting Married and Other Mistakes) discusses the process of pairing words and drawings for a graphic novel. A program of the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below.

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bookmark2Support WriterHouse members who are panelists or moderators at the 2013 Virginia Festival of the Book:

How to Write a Graphic Novel, with Barbara Slate (Sponsored by WriterHouse)
Thurs. March 21st, 2013 - 4:00 PM
at WriterHouse
Rachel Unkefer (moderator)

Unlikely Heroes in Young Adult Books
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Gigi Amateau, Meg Medina, Kathryn Erskine (moderator)

Our Future: One Planet, Tangled in Technology, with Liberty and Justice for Whom?
Thu. March 21st, 2013 - 7:00 PM
Rosalyn W. Berne

Publishing Day: Creating a Great Writing Group (Co-Sponsored by WriterHouse)
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 10:00 AM
Claire Cameron, A M Carley, Bethany Joy Carlson (moderator), Carolyn O'Neal

Virginia Openings: Calligraphy Exhibit by Terry Coffey
Terry M. Coffey

Space: History of the New Frontier
Thu. March 21st, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Dan Doernberg (moderator)

Publishing Day: Digital Publishing for Your Book
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 12:00 PM
Dan Doernberg (moderator)

Mania: The Story of the Outraged and Outrageous Lives that Launched a Cultural Revolution
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Dan Doernberg (moderator)

Publishing Day: How to Make Writing Pay
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 10:00 AM
Don Fry, Rachel Unkefer (moderator)

The Big Read presents The Ties that Bind: Family in Fiction
Wed. March 20th, 2013 - 6:00 PM
Clifford Garstang

Fiction: The Art and Craft of Short Stories
Thu. March 21st, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Clifford Garstang, Mitzi Ware (moderator)

Fiction: Forbidden Attraction
Fri. March 22nd, 2013 - 10:00 AM
Clifford Garstang (moderator)

Getting It Together: The Process and Power of Anthologies
Wed. March 20th, 2013 - 6:00 PM
Sarah Collins Honenberger (moderator)

Local Authors, Local Stories
Wed. March 20th, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Gerry Kruger

The Codex Is Not the Only Book: the iPad, the Poet, and the Artist
Sun. March 24th, 2013 - 1:00 PM
Katherine McNamara, Mary-Sherman Willis

Books, Writing, and Other New Strategies to Make Our Schools Safer
Sun. March 24th, 2013 - 3:00 PM
Meg Medina

The Global Economy: Innovations and Transformations
Fri. March 22nd, 2013 - 4:00 PM
Jeanne Nicholson Siler (moderator)

Literary Biographies
Sat. March 23rd, 2013 - 4:00 PM
Virginia Pye (moderator)

Fiction: Parallel Stories
Fri. March 22nd, 2013 - 12:00 PM
Mitzi Ware (moderator)


Mary-Sherman Willis event

Mary-Sherman Willis event2Sunday, February 10, 2013, 7:00pm

Poet Mary-Sherman Willis and her publisher, Katherine McNamara of Artist's Proof Editions, talked about her recent book of poetry entitled Caveboy, which has been published on iBooks and also in a limited print edition. They discussed incorporating multimedia into the manuscript and how the publishing process encompasses much more than the traditional codex (bound books with pages as we know them). It was free and open to the public.

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast below.

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Cramer eventFriday, January 25, 2013, 7:00pm

Steven Cramer discussed his fifth collection of poems, Clangings (Sarabande Books), with fellow poet John Casteen.

In a wild and original departure from his previous work, Cramer imagines the "clangings" of schizophrenic and manic speech into a poetic narrative that exults in both aural richness and words’ power to evoke an interior landscape whose strangeness is intimate, unsteady, and stirring.

David Ferry (National Book Award-winner for 2012) calls Clangings "inventive all the way, hilarious a lot of the time, and scared, scary, distanced and objective, and very moving. Clangings is a wild ride." The editors of Memorious's blog calls Clangings "one of our favorite books of 2012," and the book is a recommended 2012 poetry collection at Split This Rock and New Pages.

This event was free and open to the public.

Cliff Garstang eventThursday, November 29, 2012, 7:00pm

Clifford Garstang, author of What the Zhang Boys Knowdiscussed the literary form of the novel in stories.  

Missed the event? Listen to the podcast: 

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NanowrimoThursday, November 1, 2012, 7:00pm

Join the Launch Party at WriterHouse and prepare to write a novel in a month!

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual month-long novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world.  At WriterHouse's NaNoWriMo you can track your progress, get pep talks and support, and meet fellow your fellow Wrimos ... er, writers.  Enjoy pizza, soda, and buckets of coffee as we set sail into the adventurous Nanoland!  WriterHouse has plenty of desks and outlets as well as wi-fi for updating your wordcount.  Good luck!

Read more: NaNoWriMo Launch Party!

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