• 08/28/2021 11:13 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    The Sun recently launched a magazine “give and take” program, where we help find homes for gently used copies of the magazine. We’ve had a wonderful response from readers eager to give their collections a new life and I wondered whether you could help spread the word for folks who might be interested in receiving the magazine? We’ve been working with “literacy banks,” community reading rooms, poetry clubs, writing groups, etc. Our post about it is here: https://thesunmagazine.org/news/give-and-take-old-issues.

  • 08/15/2021 6:40 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Some writers dream of seeing their books on the big screen. For Connie Lapallo, the dream has come true. In September, she will tell the Chesapeake Bay Writers (CBW) how it happened. 

    Lapallo will speak at CBW’s Literary Luncheon Meeting in Williamsburg on Wednesday September 15. The event will begin with a social hour at 11:30 and a three-course French meal at 12:30. After lunch, Lapallo will describe how the film based on her novel Dark Enough to See the Stars became a finalist in the 2021 Richmond International Film Festival. She will be joined by her son, Adam Lapallo, who wrote the screenplay. 

    As Lapallo explains, success didn’t happen overnight. “I started collecting family tree information when I was eleven years old, directly from my great-grandmother who lived with us. Her turn-of-the-century memories fascinated me. Sometimes she told older family stories that her grandmother had passed on to her.” She continues, “I began researching in earnest in 1976 for a 9th grade family tree project inspired by the Bicentennial and Roots. Thirty-five years later, I’m still at work on the assignment!”

    One day, in 1994,  while researching at the Library of Virginia, Lapallo noticed a familiar name. It was an ancestor, Archer Cox, who lived in Mecklenburg, Virginia, in the early 1800s. The book traced him all the way back to Jamestown. “Suddenly I had links taking me all the way back to a woman named Temperance Bailey and to her mother, Cecily (or Sisley).” Cecily was one of nearly a hundred women and children who left England for Jamestown in 1609. As Lapallo learned, eleven year-old Cecily been a Jamestown mystery for professional genealogists for 120 years. “Who was she, and why had she come to Virginia alone?” 

    Cecily’s trail continued in a used bookstore in Williamsburg when she found a volume called Ancient Adventurers, by Samuel Bemiss. In a passage recalling Jamestown’s Starving Time, Bemiss wrote, “Ann Burras, Temperance Flowerdieu and Sisley Jordan can represent all the unsung heroines of that heroic age.” 

    Lapallo spent eight years working on Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky, her first novel. Her daughter Sarah designed the book cover. It took Lapallo another five years to complete the sequel, When the Moon Has No More Silver. She has begun writing the third novel in her trilogy as well as a biography of Sir Thomas Gates. 

    Reservations are required, $24 Members, $30 Guests. (Tax and gratuity included). The public is welcome.

    The Chesapeake Bay Writers is a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club for published and aspiring writers. For more information, visit chesapeakebaywriters.org, email CBWreply@gmail.com or call 804-725-6163.

  • 07/30/2021 8:21 PM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Jacob Tisdale of Martinsburg, Virginia, this year's winner of the $2,000 scholarship. Jacob will be attending University of Virginia to study Media Studies. 

  • 07/08/2021 11:19 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Pamela K. Kinney will be selling and signing her books at Fantasci at Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Rd., Chesapeake, VA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 24, 2021.

    Write By the Rails, a VWC chapter, has released their new anthology, Confetti, available now at www.amazon.com! 

    Write By the Rails also began a Summer Reading Book Drive on June 1, 2021. They are donating books to disadvantaged kids in the community. Your purchase can help us reach our goal of donating 100+ new books! Please select from the list found at Amazon.com and ship to their collection address. Your contribution will make a big difference! Questions? Email writebytherails@gmail.com

  • 07/08/2021 10:52 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Requiem for Geraldine Gerbil (early 2021)  J. Stewart WillisRequiem for Geraldine Gerbil; Released 5/5/21; Published by Bair Ink Books

    Judith HelmsGrudge Tiger; Released 5/25/21; Published by TouchPoint Press 

    Diane M. FinlaysonYoga Therapy Foundations, Tools, and Practice: A Comprehensive Textbook; Released 6/21/21; Published by Singing Dragon

    Dawn BrothertonEastover Treasures; Released 6/22/21; Published by Blue Dragon Publishing, LLC

     Jenna Harte:  Death of a Coupon Queen: A Sophie Parker Coupon Mystery (book 2); To be released 7/14/2021; Published by Camel Press

  • 05/22/2021 11:26 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    The official publication date of Oliver's Travels was May 18 and I was excited to celebrate the launch of the book with a Zoom event. If you weren't able to attend, you might still be able to hear/see me talk about the book in the coming week at one of these events:

    Big Blend Radio Interview

    On Sunday, May 23 at 2 pm EDT, I'll be appearing on Big Blend Radio/Champagne Sundays with Lisa and Nancy. I've been on their show before and they're great fun. Their show is all about travel, so this book is a great fit for them. Tune in for the live interview, or check out the recording later.

    Hidden Timber Books Reading

    Also on Sunday, May 23, I'll be giving a Zoom reading at 3 pm EDT in the Small Press Author Reading Series with Hidden Timber Books. This is a great series featuring authors from small presses. I'm really looking forward to giving a reading from Oliver's Travels and talking to the hosts. Registration is required, after which you'll receive a Zoom link.


    KGB Bar Reading

    On Wednesday, May 26 at 7 pm EDT, I'll join my friends Kim Coleman Foote and Virginia Pye in a ticketed online reading to support KGB Bar. KGB is a storied NYC venue for author readings and music performances that has been hit hard by the pandemic. We hope to raise a little money for this literary touchstone. Just $10. Purchase tickets here.

    More events coming!

    I’m busily lining up events for May and beyond in support of my new novel, Oliver’s Travels. Check out the events schedule on my website. And do let me know if you’re aware of a reading series, book club, or festival I might be able to visit. 

  • 05/12/2021 12:26 PM | Leslie Truex (Administrator)

    The 2021 Navigating Your Writing Life Symposium is right around the corner (August 7 and 8). Like last year it will be held online, but this year, there will be twice as many workshops. Plus, we're very excited to have Jane Friedman back as our keynote! 

    The symposium committee is now reaching out for sponsors and advertisers. We have a variety of levels and options to fit every budget. 

    Visit the sponsor page to learn more!

  • 04/28/2021 10:40 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Melinda CrockerKilling Spring, Released 9/9/2020

    Front Cover.jpg

    R. Morgan ArmstrongA Serving of Revenge, Released 11/15/2020, Published by Dementi Milestone Publishing, Inc.

    David BarudinAlternate Routes: Coming of Age in America's Largest Generation, Released 1/15/2021

    J. Thomas BrownSaint Elmo's Light, Released 1/19/2021, Published by Fenghuang Publishing

    Lenette HowardLove on the Half-Shell, Released 1/21/2021

    Elizabeth Spencer SpraginsWaltzing with Water: Tempos in Verse, Released 1/24/2021, Published by Shanti Arts Publishing

    Jane Harrington:  "Strangers on the Road," an excerpt from upcoming novel In Circling Flight, Released 2/8/2021, Published by New Square literary journal

    Kathy DavisPassiflora, Released 2/13/2021, Published by Cider Press Review

    Richard L. RosePushBack, Released 2/15/2021, Published by Atmosphere Press

    Erwin K. ThomasA Life of Prayer: Devotions & Pandemic, Released 2/15/2021

    Patrice Wilkerson:  "Hellacious Times," Released 2/18/2021, Published by The African Magazine

    Steve L. Garay, Jr.:  "Just Passin' Through!," Released 3/1/2021, Published by Senior News

    Joanne LigganF.A.C.T.S. Bible Study Guide, Book 3 (Luke, Mark), Released 3/4/2021

    J. Elizabeth Vincent (Janell Robisch)Rise of the Ceo San, Released 3/12/2021, Published by Mistweave Press

    Jessie D. EakerAssassin of Curses, Released 3/25/2021

    Highways of the South (America's Historic Highways)

    Stephen H. ProvostHighways of the South, Published 3/28/2021, Published by Dragon Crown Books

    Brent Allen BohnHands Faster Than Lightning - The Stagecoach, Released 4/5/2021


    Palmer SmithThe Butterfly Bruises, To be released 5/15/2021, Published by Press Dionysus of London

    Sandra StoszBreaking Ice and Breaking Glass:  Leading in Uncharted Waters, To be released 6/1/2021, Published by Koehler Books

  • 04/28/2021 10:27 AM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    Please join Clifford Garstang in conversation with Christina Chiu, celebrating the publication of Cliff’s new novel, Oliver’s Travels. Registration is required for the event hosted by The Book Dragon Bookshop of Staunton, Virginia.

    May 18, 2021, 7:00 pm EDT

    Register in advance for this event:
    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Signed copies of the book are available for purchase and pick-up in Staunton from The Book Dragon at 102 W. Beverley Street, 540-712-7941. For buyers outside of Staunton, please support the store by ordering from The Book Dragon on Bookshop.org.

    You can still pre-order from the publisher or your favorite independent bookstore. Or pre-order from BookshopBarnes & Noble, or Amazon.

    Clifford Garstang is the author of the novels Oliver’s Travels and The Shaman of Turtle Valley as well as three story collections: House of the Ancients and Other Stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction, and In an Uncharted Country, winner of an Independent Publisher Gold Medal. He is also the editor of the acclaimed anthology series, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. A former international lawyer, he lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

    Christina Chiu is the grand prize winner of the James Alan McPherson Award for her novel, Beauty. She is also the author of Troublemaker and Other Saints, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Troublemaker was an alternate selection for BOMC and QPB, a nominee for a BOMC First Fiction Award, and winner of the Asian American Literary Award. Chiu curates and co-hosts the Pen Parentis Literary Salons in New York City. She received her MFA in writing from Columbia University.

    About Oliver’s Travels: Ollie Tucker, a recent college graduate and student of philosophy, is obsessed with truth and the source of knowledge, questioning the validity of everything he hears from his parents, his girlfriend, and even the voices inside his head. In pursuit of the truth and life’s deeper meaning, he invents an alter ego, Oliver, who lives the adventurous and exotic existence Ollie cannot. But Ollie has another problem—a repressed memory of his uncle Scotty that threatens to derail his life, his relationships, and his sexuality. But the memory is a blur. And what he thinks he remembers, he knows is unreliable. The uncertainty is paralyzing. What is the truth? What has his subconscious fabricated? When he learns that his uncle, long-presumed dead, is in fact alive and well, Ollie realizes that to move on with his life and find peace, he must confront his uncle. With wry humor and finely wrought prose, Oliver’s Travels is a shimmering coming-of-age story that explores enduring questions: What do we know? How do we know it?

    Praise for Oliver’s Travels

    “In Oliver’s Travels, Clifford Garstang deftly explores the fragility of memory. Ollie, an aspiring writer, must navigate the mundane while, at the same time, imagining a life of fulfillment for his alter ego, Oliver. Garstang displays his gift for contemplation and characterization as Ollie moves undauntedly in search of answers to life’s questions and discovers, in this journey marked with wanderlust, how the past and the present will forever share porous boundaries.” -Jon Pineda, author of Let’s No One Get Hurt

    “One man’s search for the truth about himself — a tour of his own head that winds up taking him on a tour of the world. A witty, humane meditation on the slippery slope of childhood memory.” -Jonathan Dee, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, author of The Locals and The Privileges

    “This is a novel with an edge and a heart, constantly riveting and always smart, not to mention funny!  Its humor, in part, derives from the keen intelligence and the pitch-perfect nature of the sterling prose. A must read.” -Fred Leebron, author of Six Figures and Welcome to Christiania

     “A twisty metafictional and metaphysical tour of the world – and the author’s mind – that examines not only how humans make stories, but how they make us. Fascinating and endlessly surprising.” -Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book and Listen & Other Stories

  • 02/22/2021 8:25 PM | Joanne Liggan (Administrator)

    At the VA Festival of the Book this year, the Moseley Critique group is offering a free critique of the first 100 words of fiction.

    All the details are here:

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