January 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Identifying and Adapting Your Core Story
Speaker: Nicole Helm
Length: 1 hour 

In IDENTIFYING & ADAPTING YOUR CORE STORY, you will learn about what core story is, how to identify it in your own work, and then how to think about the creative side & business side of your brain to adapt your core story to the market. A workshop suitable for all career phases that will help you get started or refocus on why you started writing in the first place, and how to use that to move on to the next step of your career.

Nicole Helm is the national bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She currently splits her time between writing fast-paced romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and down-to-earth contemporary western romance. Her books are known for their emotional depth and complex, believable protagonists…and the occasional mischievous farm animal. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons.

February 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Putting Tension in your Writing so your Reader Keeps Turning the Page
Speaker: Maisey Yates
Length: 1 hour

We all know that romance novels are going to end up happily. So what is it that keeps a reader turning pages even when they know the inevitable end? Tension is the thing. Tension is not fighting, or only about sex, tension should be the thread pulling readers through your books, keeping their emotions engaged. In this workshop Maisey will give examples of types of tension and explain how she uses it in her books, and how you can use it to create a more compelling read!

Bio: Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she’s writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon. Check out her website, maiseyyates.com or find her on Facebook.

March 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Layering Conflict for an Emotionally Compelling Story
Speaker: Lucy Monroe
Length: 1 hour

A retake on Lucy’s “Layering the Onion” workshop on conflict. Layering Conflict for an Emotionally Compelling story will cover the art of adding to/morphing both the internal and external conflict, with examples of what this means and how it leads to emotional depth and can help with hooks and sagging middles. She will discuss the difference between the external and internal conflict and how they can each raise the stakes for the other. If there is enough time, Lucy will lead a brainstorming session with volunteer participants about the conflict in their own current WIPs and how it might be layered for greater depth and pacing.

Bio: With more than 8 million copies of her books in print worldwide, award winning and USA Today bestseller Lucy Monroe has published over 70 books and had her stories translated for sale all over the world. While she writes multiple subgenres of romance, all of her books are sexy, deeply emotional and adhere to the concept that love will conquer all. Lucy has been giving workshops to local RWA Chapters, libraries and at National Conferences for two decades. She loves talking writing, but adheres to the motto that there is no one right way to write a good book. If you attend her workshop, you will always be encouraged to protect your own process because it is far too easy to lose the compass to our own creativity.

April 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Pumpkin Patches to Christmas Cookies: How to Write a Heartwarming, Hallmark-Sweet Romance
Speaker: Teri Wilson
Length: 1 hour

Hallmark Publishing author Teri Wilson discusses the rising popularity of low-angst, Hallmark-style sweet romances and what specific elements set these stories apart from other varieties of closed door writing. Participants will learn how to craft a Hallmark-style story and why these feel-good romances have such mass appeal. They will also learn how to generate conflict and romantic tension in a softer, hot-button-free world and how to craft “filmable” scenes that translate well to movie adaptions.

Bio: Teri Wilson is a bestselling author of heartwarming, whimsical contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Three of Teri’s books have been adapted into Hallmark Channel Original Movies by Crown Media, including UNLEASHING MR. DARCY (plus its sequel MARRYING MR. DARCY), THE ART OF US and NORTHERN LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS, based on her book SLEIGH BELL SWEETHEARTS. She is also a recipient of the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction for her novel THE BACHELOR’S BABY SURPRISE. Teri has a major weakness for cute animals, pretty dresses and Audrey Hepburn films, and she loves following the British royal family. Visit her at www.teriwilson.net or on Instagram @TeriWilsonauthor.

May 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: The History of Heroic Archetypes with AMY LANE

Speaker: Amy Lane

Length: 1 hour

People have been telling stories of heroism and romantic love since the beginning of time–but as our lives have gotten more complex, so have our heroes! Amy Lane takes you on a historic journey in which she puts our most tried and true heroic archetypes in modern context, and explains how to identify what kind of hero you’ve written by the things he must do to finish his story! Warning–there are lots of comic book heroes in this presentation, and the presenter may swoon a bit when talking about Batman and Captain America. 

Bio: Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with half of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

June 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Playing The Short (Story) Game for the Long-Term

Speaker: M.L. Buchman

Length: 1 hour

USA Today and Amazon #1 bestseller M. L. Buchman has made a third of his living giving away short fiction. Over the last decade he has written over 100 short stories, multiple novellas, and 70 novels–primarily in contemp rom and romantic suspense. We’ll be talking about: how to write short romance, series thinking, and various marketing tactics.

Bio: USA Today and Amazon #1 Bestseller M. L. “Matt” Buchman has 70+ action-adventure thriller and military romance novels, 100 short stories, and lotsa audiobooks. Booklist declared: “3X Top 10 Romance of the Year.” PW says: “Tom Clancy fans open to a strong female lead will clamor for more.” A project manager with a geophysics degree, he’s designed and built houses, flown and jumped out of planes, solo-sailed a 50′ sailboat, and bicycled solo around the world…and he quilts. More at: www.mlbuchman.com.

July 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Using Social Media and Networking to Advance Your Writing Career

Speaker: Kenya Goree-Bell

Length: 1 hour

This immersive class on using various social media platforms to advance your writing career was created to help utilize ever evolving media platforms and networking to take you to the next level. 

  • Face Book ~ an author’s best friend
  • Twitter ~ creating authentic engagements that sell books
  • Instagram ~ the hidden jewel 
  • Tik Tok~ New kid on the block with the biggest bang
  • Networking ~ real people real rewards 
  • Do & Don’ts ~ Don’t get dragged and don’t become a #hashtag

Bio: Kenya Goree-Bell lives in Alabama with her former warrior husband and three kids. She is the author of the Harem Diaries Series and the bestselling Mogul Series. When not writing she is a romance novel influencer, lifelong bibliophile and can be seen weekly on Instagram and Facebook Live interviewing other authors on her vlogcast; TheKGB– The K’s Grown and Sexy Book Club. She believes that Happy Ever After belongs to everyone and writes about worlds where everyone has a chance at love. 

August 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Anatomy of a Sale

Speaker: Addison Fox

Length: 1 hour

Have you ever wondered how it works, from the spark of an idea to the development of a proposal to a sale? How do you craft a proposal that will sell and can stretch to accommodate all the ideas you have for a series? What are some of the common tropes publishers are looking for and how can you use tropes to create a compelling story for readers and a compelling pitch for editors?

Often, the difference between a selling proposal and a rejected one is a shift in perspective. How you position your hero and heroine. Where you set their story. What is the spark that threads multiple books in a series together. That same shift can often make the difference in what readers are looking for when they’re deciding what books to buy.

Addison Fox will take you through some tips and tools for developing your ideas through to the proposal stage. Come with your questions and ideas and look forward to an interactive session with your fellow chapter members!

Bio: Addison Fox can’t remember a time when words weren’t a part of her life. In addition to being an avid reader, she loves writing novels about strong-willed and exciting heroes and heroines – individuals who are meant for each other and who deserve their happy ever after. After she makes them work for it, of course!

September 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: The Secret Life of Pantsers: Magical Tricks and Delightful Games

Speaker: Kathleen Baldwin

Length: 1 hour

Plotters and Pantsers alike will benefit from Kathleen’s tricks, tools and delightful games that make a writer’s life easier.

Bio: Award-winning speaker and author, Kathleen Baldwin, has been in the writing business for decades. More than 600,000 copies of her books are in the hands of readers around the globe. A Japanese publisher even made one of her books into a manga.New York Times called her work, “enticing from the first sentence.”-

Kathleen Baldwin has a BA in Art/Design and a minor in psychology, plus enough credits to graduate in Secondary Education with teaching minors in History and English. This enabled Kathleen to work with emotionally disturbed teens using art therapy. She loved college and would still be there if it weren’t for the siren call of money. During her college years she participated in groundbreaking studies delving into how the brain functions during the creative process. 

October 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Getting Personal-techniques to deepen the emotional investment in your story.

Speaker: Wendy Warren

Length: 1 hour

Bio: Wendy Warren likes to write books that remind her of the movies she grew up watching with her mom–stories about ordinary people who find the courage or the love or the humor or the faith (or all of the above) to make their lives extraordinary. She lives with her bustling two-and-four-legged family in a (too-) small house previously owned by a woman named Cinderella, who bequeathed them a garden of flowers they have cruelly murdered and a pink GE oven that makes them feel as if they’re in an I Love Lucy episode. Which is just fine by them!

November 2021 Programming Announcement

Title: Self publishing for fun and profit

Speaker: Our own Wendy Clark!

Length: 1 hour

Is self-publishing for you? Where do you start? And once you’ve gotten started, how do you keep going? In this beginning to intermediate-level workshop, Wendy will guide you like a Sherpa up the mountain of self-publishing with practical resources, timely tips, and examples of what’s working currently for six- and seven-figure indie and hybrid romance authors. Take your career to the next level or just get inspired by the view as you create your own path to a fulfilling career.

Bio: Wendy Clark has been self-publishing since 2014. She’s gone down plenty of side trails and had to bushwhack her way back to the path. Her current success is her six-figure, USA Today bestselling paranormal and science fiction romance pen name Starla Night.

December 2021 Programming Announcement

Title:  Engage Your Fans by Writing a Multi-book Series with Individual Character and Book Arcs

Speaker: Rebecca Zanetti

Length: 1 hour

Returning to a series, in any genre, is like coming home after a time away—both for authors and readers.  Writing a series is rewarding because it allows an author to return time and time again to a created world, it helps to build a faithful fan base, and it’s a good way to make money.  Fans enjoy returning to well-crafted worlds and checking in on those characters they fell in love with in earlier stories, but that new story has to be good enough to draw in new readers…and keep them.  We’ll explore how to build, what to add, and what to delete with character, book, and series arcs.

Bio: Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com