Voice, Cadence, and Rhythm

Capturing What Makes Your Writing Unique

Writers are often urged to get their voice on the page, but what constitutes voice, and how do you capture something that is so hard to nail down? Our panel of experts will share how your language, sentence structure, and even punctuation can add up to an on-page whole that is recognizable to your readers, no matter what you’re writing.

Speakers: Elle Cosimano, Agent Cherise Fisher, and Amber McBride

Moderator: Phil Hilliker


ELLE COSIMANO is a USA Today bestselling author, an International Thriller Award winner, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, and an Edgar Award nominee. Elle’s debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, was a People magazine pick, was named one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021, and has been optioned for TV by 20th Television Studios.

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CHERISE FISHER began her career in publishing more than 25 years ago. Over the course of her career as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and Editor in Chief of Plume (an imprint of Penguin Random House), she has edited and published several national bestselling and award winning authors. As an agent, she is interested in working with novelists who have multiple compulsively readable yarns in their head (both historical and contemporary), memoirists who showcase the diversity of human experience, and non-fiction writers who seek to provoke, inspire, and educate.


AMBER MCBRIDE teaches English literature at the University of Virginia and has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Me (Moth) is her debut novel which was a finalist for the Morris Award and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She is the winner of the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe Award, McBride lives in Charlottesville, VA.

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Phillip Hilliker is a creatively restless writer and illustrator with credits spanning many fields and genres. Formerly JRW’s membership coordinator, he is currently a script writer for a video production and marketing firm in central Virginia.


Your Instructor

James River Writers
James River Writers

The Encore! slate of courses made available on this site is made up of programs best received by our James River Writers community. This course is presented by more than one subject matter expert for varied perspectives. For more information, please see the course details.

Course Curriculum

  First Section
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does access to this Panel Discussion start and finish?
Access to this Panel Discussion begins when you complete your transaction/purchase and goes through August 31, 2023.
When was this class recorded?
This panel discussion was recorded in August 2022, as part of James River Writers' Writing Show series.
What should I expect from a JRW Panel Discussion?
Our lively, moderated panel discussions are presented by a slate of skilled professionals, with varied perspectives, who share their extensive knowledge and expertise. This course is approximately an hour long, and includes Q&A with those who attended the live event. These panel discussions are patterned after James River Writers' popular Writing Show programs and are designed to share practical knowledge, paired with inspiration for the writing craft. To find out more about The Writing Show series presented by James River Writers, visit jamesriverwriters.org/writing-show.
Who should take this course?
Our panel discussions are designed to address the needs of writers at all levels of expertise. Most content proves to be applicable across all genres, but please use your best judgment when choosing which classes will be useful at this point of your writing journey. If you're looking for writing inspiration, paired with great takeaways for your writing craft, this course is for you! While our classes are available to both JRW Members and non-members, JRW Members do enjoy discounted rates. Visit jamesriverwriters.org/membership to sign up and enjoy your discounted rates as a JRW Member.

This course is closed for enrollment.