August 12, 2023 Programming Announcement
A Short Guide to Research
Speaker: Delilah Marvelle
About the workshop:
Writing requires far more than great characters and a great story. It requires accurate research, organization and world-building skills that make it challenging but if done right, results in a masterpiece. Whether you write historicals, mysteries, contemporaries or any other genre that requires research, being able to wedge in the details of your research can be daunting and disastrously affect the pace of your story. This isn’t a workshop about how to write. This is a workshop on how to conquer the research demons while weaving it seamlessly into your book which will transport your readers to a place no one can visit without you.
Join Delilah Marvelle for a tell-all about everything it takes to world-build using the details of your research.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance of the Year and has had Booklist name her historical romance FOREVER AND A DAY one of the best romances of the past decade. When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through research books and archives of history having to do with fascinating details and facts about history that never made it into college textbooks.
July 08, 2023 Programming Announcement
Title: Tech Tools for Authors
Speaker: E.J. Russell
About the workshop:
As a dyed-in-the-wool geek girl, E.J. Russell likes to keep all her writing tools at her electronic fingertips (which may be because her handwriting has become virtually illegible lately…). She’ll share her favorite digital goodies for a book’s lifecycle–everything from brainstorming a new story to tracking book sales. (She won’t judge you if you take notes on…shudder…actual paper.)
E.J. Russell (she/her), author of the award-winning Mythmatched paranormal romance series, writes LGBTQ+ romance and mystery in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst, and happy endings.
Reality? Eh, not so much.
She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).
E.J. also writes traditional cozy mystery as Nelle Heran. She lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
June 10, 2023 Programming Announcement
Title: The Beginning and the End—How to Hook Readers and Create a Satisfying Arc
Speaker: Sarina Dorie
Length: 1 hour
About the workshop:
This is a hands-on workshop full of exercises to help us practice making engaging hooks—and more exercises to wrap up a story.
How do writers get started and make the beginning of a story interesting enough to keep their audience reading? Just importantly, how do writers wrap up a story in a way that feels satisfying? We will look at examples from books we love and figure out what those authors did right so we can do the same thing in our stories. Be prepared to do writing exercises and try new techniques for practicing a story arc
Sarina Dorie is a science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, and romance author. She has sold over 200 short stories to markets like Analog, Daily Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, and F & SF. She has over eighty books up on Amazon, including her bestselling series, Womby’s School for Wayward Witches.
A few of her favorite things include: gluten-free brownies (not necessarily glutton-free), Star Trek, steampunk, fairies, Severus Snape, and Mr. Darcy.
You can find info about her short stories and novels on her website: www.sarinadorie.com
May 13, 2023
Title: From 0 to 1,000+ mailing list subscribers
Speaker: Evan Gow of StoryOrigin
Length: 1 hour
About the workshop:
In this presentation, you will learn how to build your mailing list, write a welcome sequence, arrange cross-promotions, and vet potential reviewers.
Bio: Evan Gow is the indie developer of StoryOrigin, a marketing tool and community of authors that work together to find reviewers, build mailing lists, increase sales, and stay on top of deadlines.
April 8 2023
Title: The Business of Ads & How it Affects your Business
Presenter: Michael Beverly of Adverly
Description: When Amazon began monetizing their product pages and search results with PPC ads, it changed the nascent indie book business and created new challenges for authors. This presentation will be a discussion about how to plan (or alter) your book business to best navigate the expensive landscape of Amazon Advertising.
Bio: Michael Beverly moved to Mexico in 2017 to work on his dream to become a full-time career indie novelist and through a series of events ended up co-founding an Amazon ad’s management business for indies. He’s written ten novels and a few novellas, a handful of them as a ghostwriter. He loves to discuss everything and anything book or story related. He lives with his girlfriend and a bunch of pets in Guadalajara.
March 11 2023
Title: Keys To Unlocking A Great First Chapter
Presenter: Julie Cameron
Description: Whether you are planning to traditionally publish or self-publish, this workshop will examine the importance of a first chapter in grabbing (and keeping) the attention of your audience. We will walk through what to do, and what not to do, when writing your first chapter or prologue
Bio: Julie Cameron is an accomplished, dynamic, and energetic author of award-winning work with diverse experience in content editing, consulting, writing, blogging, screenwriting, and self-publishing. Through her company, Landon Literary, she has established herself as a successful mentor and coach with a proven track record of working with both published and non-published authors.
February 11 2023
Title: Worldbuilding by Evoking the Senses
Speaker: Cat Rambo
Length: 1 hour
Learn how to use the senses to make your world come alive for a reader. A mix of lecture, discussion, and in-class writing will let come back away with tools and tricks for creating evocative, immersive worlds.
Cat Rambo’s 250+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. In 2020 they won the Nebula Award for fantasy novelette Carpe Glitter. They are a former two-term President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Their most recent works are space opera You Sexy Thing (Tor Macmillan), as well as anthology, The Reinvented Heart (Arc Manor), co-edited with Jennifer Brozek.
January 14 2023
Presentation: Query Letters
Presenter: Ann Leslie Tuttle, agent
The presentation will focus on what makes a compelling query letter and what are some of the common mistakes that writers can make. The presenter will also elaborate on some reasons why a query may result in a pass from an agent—even when the project seemed like a perfect fit—and Ann Leslie Tuttle will briefly elaborate on what happens if an agent does request your project.
At the end of the presentation, Ann Leslie Tuttle will allow up to 3 writers to pitch to her. She cannot stay past 12 noon, so that means each person pitching gets 5 minutes each.
Ann Leslie Tuttle is an agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret and has spent over 25 years in the book publishing industry. Prior to joining the agency, she worked at Harlequin Books (part of HarperCollins) for twenty years and acquired and edited a variety of titles in the romance and women’s fiction genres. Ann Leslie is looking for romances, especially historical romance and romantic comedy; historical fiction; women’s fiction with a focus on relationships within a family or among female friends; MG and YA nonfiction and fiction, including YA rom coms, and, in general, stories which often focuses on popular science and hidden figures; and narrative nonfiction. She is especially drawn to stories that show empowered women and have a positive and uplifting message for readers and welcomes submissions from writers at all stages of their career. Some of her current romance authors include Elizabeth Everett, Lauren Kung Jessen, Nancy Robards Thompson and Tara Taylor Quinn.
Presenter: Ann Leslie Tuttle
Paypal address to send $75
Link to sign up for pitches—only the first three will be possible: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjR3fjwrZ3ykj4e9QaHp42lp0P3tcc0J3mjLV0nnDnWp8ZUg/viewform
November 12, 2022
Title: Turn Your World Building Into Marketing
Speaker: C Morgan Kennedy
About the workshop: Whether you write contemporary, historical, paranormal, or science fiction - a great story is always rooted in great world building that provides an escape for your readers. This course starts with a quick overview of world building fundamentals and how to structure a series story bible. The majority of the course is spent discussing specific examples of marketing done well and providing creative, low cost, and actionable book marketing strategies. Bio: C. Morgan Kennedy is the author of interracial romance, multicultural cozy mysteries, and steampunk novels. A self-described 'Blerd' and Afrofuturist, Morgan puts her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering to good use imagining all manner of gadgets for her stories. She uses her MBA in her day job as a marketing and business development professional. Writing as C. K. Eastland, she co-authors the Crafty Sleuth cozy mystery series with her dear friend Nelle Heran (aka E. J. Russell). Through her workshops, she seeks to demystify marketing fundamentals for the writing and small business communities.
October 8, 2022
Title: Handcuffs Teach Trust: Writing the Best BDSM of Your Life
Speaker: Linda Mercury
About the workshop: BDSM romance is a well-established, well-loved sub-genre. This workshop teaches you how to write emotionally packed, diverse, and exciting BDSM. We will delve beyond heterosexual male doms and female submission.This workshop is appropriate for all writers at all heat levels. Some adult language will be used. Bio: Linda Mercury's work is about coming together. Because life is way better when people tell each other the truth of who they are.
September 10, 2022
Title: Maximizing Profit for the not Prolific
Speaker: Daniela Romero
About the workshop: Chat with USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Daniela Romero as she discusses how to maximize your profits when you aren't very prolific and don't have a gigantic backlist to work with.
Bio: Daniela Romero is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She enjoys writing steamy, new-adult and paranormal romance that delivers an emotional roller coaster sure to take your breath away. Her books feature a diverse cast of characters with rich and vibrant cultures in an effort to effectively portray the world we all live in. One that is so beautifully colorful. Daniela is a Bay Area native though she currently lives in Washington State with her sarcastic husband and their three tiny terrors. In her free time, Daniela enjoys frequent naps, binge reading her favorite romance books, and is known to crochet while watching television because her ADHD brain can never do just one thing at a time. Stop by her website to find all the fun and unique ways you can stalk her. And while you’re there you can check out some free bonus scenes from your favorite books, learn about her Patreon, order signed copies of her books, and swoon over her gorgeous alternative cover editions. www.daniela-romero.com‘ll love her books!
May 14, 2022 Program
Speaker: Cate Hart—literary agent
Title: First Page Pitfalls
About the workshop: In this workshop, learn common mistakes and clichés and how to fix them and the elements that make a great first page and novel that wows editors and agents.***After our presentation, Cate has generously agreed to hear 2-minute pitches for half an hour. Stay after the meeting if you want to pitch or hear members pitch. We are limited to how many writers can pitch.Please make sure you read the agent's bio to decide if your project is within the genres she represents. catehart.com
April 2022 Program
Title: Weddings, Underwear, and Dinner: Crafting Historical Details for Fun and Profit
Speaker: Martha Bayless
About the workshop: “The past is a foreign country — they do things differently there.” Setting a novel in a different time period offers a wonderful chance to use the details and rules of another time to craft an exciting story. This talk and Q&A will discuss ways to use historical detail to write lively and absorbing fiction. It will include little-known (and amazing!) facts about weddings, underwear, and dinner (and more) of past times, and how a few fresh details can make your fiction stand out.
Bio: Martha Bayless has a PhD in medieval culture from Cambridge University and is professor of English and Folklore at the University of Oregon. in addition to academic works on medieval food, games, magic, and humor, she is writing a non-fiction account of 19th-century society, and is the author of several works for popular audiences, including a Farscape tie-in novel. In academia she is known for her book Sin and Filth in Medieval Culture: The Devil in the Latrine.
March 2022 Program
Title: Being a Journeyman Writer, Writing Longevity/Keeping It Fresh, and Making a Living Without Being a Superstar!
Speaker: Katherine Garbera
About the workshop: Over the past 25 years, I have been a published author and have learned some tips and tricks along the way to both roll with the punches and find success navigating changes in the publishing market, editors, tropes and storytelling. This 60 minute workshop will offer you proven techniques, advice, and skills you can use for your own path as a working writer.
Bio: Katherine Garbera is the USA Today best-selling author of more than 120 books. Writing is the chief focus of her time after her family and the only thing she likes more than working on her own books is reading other authors. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and loves the opportunity to talk about writing with anyone who’ll listen.
Her latest release THE WEDDING DARE launches the Destination Wedding series a spin-off from HER ONE NIGHT PROPOSAL.
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