Frequently Asked Questions
What does the club do at a typical meeting?
Each meeting normally has a guest speaker that gives a 30-45 minute presentation on some aspect of writing or publishing. Speakers have included novelists, screen writers, memoirists, editors, literary agents, magazine editors, and poets. The presentation includes time for a lengthy question and answer session and a book signing in the case of authors and poets. The few times we don’t have speakers are normally set aside for “open mike” readings of members’ works.
Meetings also include treasurer’s reports, club announcements, and the other necessary evils of running a club, but we tend to keep these items to under 30 minutes. Lastly, we wrap up most meetings by opening the floor and inviting club members to tell us about their latest successes, setbacks, or personal landmarks in writing.
Do you critique work at the meetings?
Unfortunately, two-hour monthly meetings don’t really allow time for helpful critique. In addition, the club’s membership varies widely in both experience and interest, which is not terribly helpful in a critique setting.
Having said that, the club is the place to network with other writers in the area who may share your interests and experience level; our hope is that, by joining the club, you’ll find others that can help you form your own critique group. Also, in recent years, we have devoted one meeting a year to a critique session.
Can you help me get my short story/poem/novel published?
Probably not in the way you mean. We’re a collection of writers ourselves, not agents or publishers, so the help we can provide is limited to advice, experience, and networking…but those are useful tools, too. By joining the group, you’ll be able to compare notes with others trying to accomplish the same thing you are and it may save you time and frustration in the long run.
Do you put out anthologies or hold contests?
We currently do not publish an anthology of members’ works. As a chapter of the larger, state-wide organization the Virginia Writers Club, we participate annually in the Golden Nib Award. The Golden Nib is a competition with first, second, and third cash prizes in three categories: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Each chapter forwards a single representative in each category to the state competition. Winners are announced and recognized at the VWC Annual Meeting, usually held in November.
Check the state site for Golden Nib announcements and rules.