‘Hidden Figures’ author shares advice with local writers

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Margot Lee Shetterly is still amazed at the turn of events she has witnessed over the past year.

“It was unbelievable to get a book published and a movie made,” she says.

Shetterly, the author of ‘Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,’ spoke to more than 400 local writers at Saturday’s 15th Annual James River Writers Conference at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The Virginia-based writer had some advice for the crowd.

“Figure out the rules of the publishing industry,” Shetterly recommended. “Follow your research to where it leads. It’s okay if your early drafts are not perfect. Keep going and it will get better.”

This event is one of Virginia’s largest writing conferences.

Thirty national and local authors, including Shetterly and bestselling novelist David Baldacci, spoke and shared their advice with writers.

Attendees had the chance to pitch their book to an agent, meet publishers and learn about the craft of writing and publishing.

The nonprofit James River Writers, which connects writers and readers, organized the conference.