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Life After Rejection: What to do before you query again

newspaperAfter a packed house at James River Writers’ first Writing Show at its new location, Firehouse Theatre, the crowd is energized for the March show: how to face the dreaded rejection letter and what a writer can do to get better results in the future.

Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl. Even these authors have been rejected. So how do you pick up and get going again? And what rational steps should you take to reevaluate your work and submissions?

Join experts on what to do next, including an editor and a literary agent, for discussions and Q&A. In the second half of the evening, coach Sarah Beth Jones will provide tangible ways to get reenergized and stay motivated.

Wednesday, March 25, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Social at 6:00; Show Starts at 6:45
Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street
(Free parking available across the street in the Lowe’s lot)
$12 for members/ $15 for non-members in advance at jamesriverwriters.org or at the door, $5 students

The panel will address the following questions:

  • Does your query match the quality of your book?
  • Are you querying the right agent or publisher?
  • Does your book need to be edited?
  • Is networking your missing component?
  • At what point do you call in professional help?

The March panelists are:

Lisa Hagan: Non-Fiction Literary Agent
Lisa Hagan Literary is known for anticipating future book trends and is among the first to successfully create, shape, and develop appropriate projects with their worldwide clients. The agency handles only nonfiction properties. Books represented by Lisa Hagan have been reported in the front pages of The New York Times; USA Today; The New York Times Book Review; and The Los Angeles Times.

David H. Morgan: Editor, Writing Instructor, and Ghostwriter
David Morgan has worked in publishing for 40+ years as a Senior Fiction Editor for a New York-based literary agent, a freelance acquisitions editor for literary agents, a literary agent, a publishers’ sales rep, and the Director of Promotion and Marketing for a regional press. He’s presented fiction and nonfiction workshops at top-level writing conferences, created books for literary agents and major publishing houses (as a ghostwriter and co-writer), and assisted writers to become published authors (in many cases, after their work had been rejected by agents and publishing houses).

Sarah Beth Jones: Business and Empowerment Coach
Sarah Beth Jones is a business and empowerment coach, which means that she helps people access their own inner wisdom in order to unleash their most confident, talented, amazing selves and build their most powerful and creative lives. She is also a blogger, freelance writer, and former columnist. She kicks around in poetry and fiction when she’s feeling frisky.

Moderator Kris Spisak: Author and Editor
With a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MLA from the University of Richmond, Kris Spisak began her career as a college writing instructor. However, after six years in the classroom, she transitioned to professional writing and editing. Helping writers sharpen their craft—both through manuscript edits and her “Wednesday Writing Tips” blog—drives her every day. Kris is also the co-founder/content specialist for Midlothian Web Solutions and is pursuing the publication of her first novel.

The Writing Show, described as Inside the Actor’s Studio meets the New York Times bestseller list, happens live in Richmond the last Wednesday of the month. The host is James River Writers, a nonprofit whose mission is to build community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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