Writer’s weekend at the Homestead

Here is a great looking retreat for writers at one of my favorite Virginia resorts.




Enjoy a weekend of lectures, live demos, book signings, fine dining and more with successful Virginia authors of many genres at the legendary resort  

February 27, 2015 Hot Springs, Va. – The Omni Homestead Resort is celebrating Virginia’s history of great writers with its inaugural Writers’ Weekend, Saturday, March 21 – Sunday, March 22. The thought-provoking program will feature acclaimed authors sharing their personal experiences and insights topped off with a delicious maple-themed dinner amid the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains.

Virginia-based authors who have seen success across several genres will lead the weekend, including:

  • Lynn Seldon began writing while stationed in Germany as a young Army officer. His work has been published in more than 500 publications including Southern Living, TrailBlazer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charleston Post & Courier and more. Additionally, Seldon has published a half-dozen travel books and his first novel,Virginia’s Ring, was published in 2014. Seldon will lead a Writer’s Session titled “Pat Conroy, Crowdfunding & CreateSpace: How Virginia’s Ring Rang Up Sales” on Saturday at 11 a.m.
  • Learn about the elements of mystery writing from acclaimed writer Mollie Cox Bryan. Author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking Mysteries, the first of which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012, Bryan will lead a Writer’s Session titled “Adding Murder to Your Resume” on Saturday at 10 a.m.
  • Kendra Bailey Morris is a food writer, culinary instructor and cooking show host who has been featured in Better Homes and GardensGarden and GunTaste of the South and Richmond Times Dispatch. She also served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and authored The Southern Slow Cooker: Big Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics. Morris will lead a culinary demonstration at noon on Saturday where she will share valuable tips, tricks, and recipes. She will also showcase her delectable Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pork BBQ Sandwiches with Creamy Cider Slaw.
  • Beau Beasley‘s Fly Fishing Virginia: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters won the prestigious Excellence-in-Craft Award in 2009. He is also the author of Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic and an editor at Eastern Fly Fishing, Fly Fish America, and Southern Trout. Beasley will be leading a Writer’s Session titled “Effect Fly Patterns for the Old Dominion” on Sunday at 10 a.m.

To round out the weekend, participants are invited to celebrate the 57th annual Highland Maple Festival that’s taking place in nearby Highland County, affectionately known as “Virginia’s Sweet Spot.” Guests can take a seat for a Maple Bourbon Dinner in the resort’s Dominion Room and enjoy a four-course menu of savory dishes such as Maple Sugar Dusted Diver Scallop and Cherry Braised Duck Leg with crispy maple Brussels Sprouts. Each course is paired with expertly crafted Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktails.

Special rates for the Writers’ Weekend start at $255 for one night, or $230 for two nights. The weekend’s full schedule can be viewed online here. For more information or to make reservations at The Omni Homestead Resort, please contact (800) 838-1766 or visitwww.thehomestead.com.


Creative Writing Opportunities in Richmond

Writing From Life: Creative Nonfiction (and beyond!)

Writers are thieves–of their own lives. Learn how to tap into your experiences, memories and flashes of insight to jump start that novel, short story, poem, memoir blog or creative journal that’s been driving you crazy for ages. In these “writing from life” workshops, we’ll explore how to access the right side of the brain, side-step writer’s block and get all of our words, thoughts and ideas onto the page, determining the genre only after the essential words have been written. Join me for a series of essays, stories and prompts that will result in a portfolio of raw material, fresh ideas and beginnings that beg for your return. Please bring a journal and a pen. Chocolate provided! To reserve your seat in the circle, please email valleyhaggard@gmail.com and follow the Paypal link to the left of the screen at www.valleyhaggard.com or send a check payable to Valley Haggard/1202 Hillside Avenue/ Richmond, VA 23229.

6 Tuesdays, April 16 – May 21
Black Swan Bookstore, 2601 W. Main Street
7:00-9:00 pm

6 Wednesdays, April 24 – May 29
Stir Crazy Cafe, 4015 MacArthur Ave
10 am- 12 noon

6 Mondays, April 29 – June 3
Black Swan Bookstore, 2601 W. Main Street
7:00-9:00 pm

Women’s Summer Writing Retreat at the Porches
What? Bring or begin a writing project for a weekend of writing practice and exploration. When? Fri., August 9- Sun. Aug. 11. Who? An intimate group of 5 women, including myself. Dinner on Friday and Saturday night provided. Cost? $350. Email valleyhaggard@gmail.com for more information.
Got Kids?
Check out Richmond Young Writers’ exciting new summer sessions for kids ages 8-17 held at Chop Suey Books in Carytown.  Each week, young writers will explore the craft and fun of creative writing through a variety of imagination-stimulating prompts, journaling, brainstorming, people-watching and more. On Wednesdays, a professional writer will guest teach a special 2.5-hour workshop. At the end of the week, each young writer will make a short recording of his or her favorite work which will be edited into a video that we’ll post on the RYW blog!  Scholarships available.

The PCA notes some cool stuff around C-ville

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www.charlottesvillearts.org | The Arts in Your Inbox
Paul Legault
Poet Paul Legault
For more LITERARY events, click HERE!
Emily Dickinson Afterparty
Friday, March 22, 8:00pm
Poet Paul Legault has translated all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems into modern English one-liners. The funny yet profound results make up The Emily Dickinson Reader, published last year by McSweeney’s Books.
Come hear Legault read from his book along with Emily Dickinson herself (performed in costume by local actor Mendy St. Ours). Poet and storyteller Browning Porter will host.
Immediately after the reading, Legault himself will deejay a dance party for all attendees.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
209 Monticello Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Natasha Trethewey 
Saturday, March 23, 2:00pm
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey reads from her latest collection, Thrall, at the recently opened Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.
In 2007, Trethewey won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Native Guard. Her two previous books are Domestic Work, selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Bellocq’s Ophelia.
You can watch an interview with Threthewey on PBS here and learn about her creative process in this article from The Atlantic.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
233 4th Street NW
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 409-5424
Natasha Tretheway
Natasha Trethewey
For more LITERARY events, click HERE! 
Dana Tanamachi
Dana Tanamachi
For more VISUAL ARTS events, click HERE!
Artist Talk & Workshop
Sunday, March 24, 2:00-4:00pm
In partnership with PCA, New City Arts hosts graphic designer Dana Tanamachi for an artist talk and hand lettering workshop.

In 2012, Tanamachi had the honor of creating custom cover art for O and TIME magazines. You can watch a video of her at work here.
Tanamachi will share stories and images, followed by a Q&A. Afterward, participants will take part in a short chalk exercise at The Community Chalkboard outside CitySpace.
The cost of this workshop is $10. Advance registration is required. Please email Maureen to reserve a seat.
100 5th Street NE

Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 971-2787
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Monday, April 1, 8:00pm
The Carolina Chocolate Drops burst onto the national scene in 2010 when their debut album won “Best Traditional Folk Album” at the Grammy Awards.
The trio proved that the old-time, fiddle and banjo-based music is an ever-evolving sound. Their songs highlight the central role African-Americans played in shaping our nation’s popular music.
The New York Times has declared their concerts to “an end-to-end display of excellence.”
Tickets cost $22 in advance ($25 day of the show) and may be purchased online.
110 E. Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 245-4980
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Carolina Chocolate Drops
For more MUSIC events, click HERE!
Brutus in Julius Ceasar
Rene Thornton, Jr. in Julius Caesar
For more THEATRE events, click HERE!
Julius Caesar

Thursday, April 4, 7:30pm
In this profound tragedy, William Shakespearedramatizes the conspiracy to assassinate the Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

Read a glowing review of the American Shakespeare Center’s production of Julius Caesar in the C-VILLE Weekly.
Following the show, audience members are invited to participate in a TalkBack with the actors.
Tickets cost $16-$40 and may be purchasedonline.
10 S. Market Street
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 851-1733


Writing Happenings in Richmond from Valley Haggard

Hi Writers–


There are so many exciting literary events this fall!

Here are a few you should know about: 


The James River Writer’s Conference, Oct 20-21 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center with special workshops on Oct. 19 at The Virginia State Capitol:



The VCU First Novelist Award, which will be presented to Justin Torres, author of “We the Animals” at the Grace Street Theatre, Nov 8: 



Got kids? Richmond Young Writers has some exciting new weekend labs this fall! Also, keep an out for upcoming after-school spring intensives:




And, below are my upcoming marathons & workshops for adults at Chop Suey & Black Swan Books. 

I hope you can join me….I’d love to write with you! 





Write Now: Mini Marathons


Sunday, October 14, 1-4 pm

Saturday, November 10, 1-4 pm


$40 per workshop

Chop Suey Bookstore

2913 West Cary Street in Carytown 



Come to Chop Suey Books this fall for an invigorating series of writing prompts that will help you access the right side of your brain and provide you with a working portfolio of ideas that you will revisit again and again.  Creative nonfiction prompts will be used as a springboard for diving into essays, poems, memoirs, blogs short stories and novels. Come prepared to read and to write! Possible side effects may include: inspiration, mixed metaphors and the urge to write with stronger and more intense frequency. Please bring a journal and a pen. Chocolate provided.

All workshops will be held one weekend afternoon per month from 1-4 pm in the upstairs art gallery of Chop Suey Books, 2913 West Cary Street in Carytown. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund for Richmond Young Writers.


To reserve your seat at the table, please email valleyhaggard@gmail.com and select the Paypal option at www.valleyhaggard.com or send a check payable to Valley Haggard at 1202 Hillside Avenue/Richmond, VA 23229.



Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

Black Swan Bookstore, 2601 W. Main Street

6 Mondays: November 5- December 10

7:00-9:00 pm



Join me for a series of creative nonfiction prompts and exercises designed to get you – or keep you – on the write path. We’ll discuss the idea that “truth is stranger than fiction” as well as the craft and art of the first person narrative. We’ll explore how to access the right side of the brain, blast through writer’s block and get all of our words, thoughts and ideas on the page. After reading short selections of essays, memoirs, journals and journalism, we’ll write. And then? We’ll write some more. Please bring a journal and a pen.


To reserve your seat in the circle, please email valleyhaggard@gmail.com and follow the Paypal link at www.valleyhaggard.com or send a check payable to Valley Haggard to 1202 Hillside Avenue/Richmond, VA 23229.




Further Explorations in Creative Nonfiction  

Black Swan Bookstore, 2601 W. Main Street

6 Tuesdays, October 30-November 27

7:00-9:00 pm



This class is for students who’ve already taken the Intro to Creative Nonfiction or who have been writing for a while and are interested in exploring techniques for taking their writing to the next level. We will use in-class writing prompts while developing each individual writer’s themes, structure, voice and stories. We’ll flesh out and expand what’s already been written while mapping out next steps for longer works. 


To reserve your seat in the circle, please email valleyhaggard@gmail.com and follow the Paypal link at www.valleyhaggard.com or send a check payable to Valley Haggard to 1202 Hillside Avenue/Richmond, VA 23229.



Young Writers Benefit

Hello readers, writers, friends & neighbors:
On August 16, Darren Morris and Valley Haggard will give a reading of new works with
musical accompaniment and original songs on ukulele by Herschel Stratego.  
Thursday, August 16, 7 pm 
Stir Crazy Cafe, 4015 MacArthur Avenue
Free and open to the public. 
Donations to benefit the Richmond Young Writers’ scholarship fund 
will be accepted during the event and online: 
Come on out! We’d love to see you there.

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