The Virginia Writer’s Club- Annual Meeting

Mt. Vernon Inn

The Virginia Writer’s Club– Annual Meeting

by Joseph J. O’Donnell

As a new member of The Virginia Writer’s Club-Northern Virginia Chapter, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. The event was held on Saturday, November 13th, in the beautiful and historic Mt. Vernon Inn in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tables had been set up in the veranda room, just off the main dining area, to display, and sell, some of the members books. My son and photographer, Joe, joined me in meeting the membership and introducing our magazine, The Eerie Digest. Period music was performed in the George Washington room, where we also dined.

Normal business involved this years elections, a welcome by Matt Iden, invocation by Bernadette Geyer, and opening remarks by Jim Graves who is the President of VWC. A silent auction and door prize raffle was also held, with many prizes donated by Wal-Mart, Wegmens, Costco, and Friday’s restaurant chain. A number of side roundtable discussions were also held towards the end of the event.

The zenith of the event was the introduction by our host, Austin Camacho, of novelist John Gilstrap. A short story by Austin, ‘Under the Hood’, is featured in this month’s issue of our magazine. For those who think writer’s are boring, haven’t met the likes of John Gilstrap. His talk titled ‘The Secret of Overnight Success ( after a 38-Year Day) was a lively romp through his lifelong career. John is definitely very funny and is reminiscent of the comedy style of actor Jason Alexander. He gets his points across with a great sense of humor.

John’s talk was an inspiration to new and aspiring writers, and he teaches the craft of writing for the popular Smithsonian Associates programs. He is a novelist and screenwriter, and has authored seven popular thrillers, including this year’s release ‘Hostage Zero’. John has also adapted his debut novel, ‘Nathan’s Run’, and three other best selling novels for the silver screen.

Those Virginia writers who wish to joined this great organization should contact Linda M. Layne at or Austin Camacho at


Mt. Vernon Inn

Joseph J. O'Donnell & Austin Camacho

The Veranda Room

Classical Music

Matt Iden

Matt Iden

Jim Gaines

June Forte

Austin Camacho

John Gilstrap (Guest Speaker)

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