We have a great slate of sessions for virtual RWA2021, and more workshops will be added soon!
Workshops are open to registered conference attendees. Attendees will have access to most workshop recordings through spring 2022. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
#15minWIP: Time Management Techniques for Writing Around Distractions (WRITERS LIFE)
Speaker: M. Malone
During the pandemic, everyone had to change how they work. I went from full days alone to two kids in virtual school and a husband who makes loud conference calls. So one day I thought if 15 minutes is what I’ve got, how can I use that? In this workshop, discover time management techniques to restructure your writing time, even if you only have 15 minutes.
Ask Me Anything with Beverly Jenkins (AMA)
A Q&A about writing, romance, and career with award-winning author Beverly Jenkins.
Author Websites: From Blah to Boss (CAREER)
Speaker: Nate Hoffelder
An author’s website is their online office and storefront, but it doesn’t have to be a stodgy one. In this session, you will learn how, with just a little work, you can rapidly transform your author website from blah to boss. A good website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars; your site can be as simple as a single page and still present a professional face to reviewers and help you connect with fans. It all starts with knowing what you want to do, and why.
Book Mapping or Being your Own Developmental Editor (CRAFT)
Speaker: Tobi Doyle
A book map is a big picture overview of a book, broken down chapter by chapter and scene by scene, usually in the form of a table. It is recommended to create a book map after your first draft. It allows you to objectively look at an entire story, all at once, and find the issues with pacing, character, and story development. This live presentation will have a thirty-minute Q&A session where participants are encourage to workshop their story.
In this workshop, participants will:
• Determine which elements to track in your book map
• Find and fix problems with plot, character, theme, and more
• Be your own developmental editor
• Find the many resources available to help with writing projects
Craft, Characters, Creativity, and Career (CAREER)
Speaker: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Lessons in life and career: crafting books readers will want to read as you take care of yourself and manage your career.
The Cultural Divide: MM & Gay Romance (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Caraway Carter
Two (or gasp more!) men. Steamy sex. Conflict. Reconciliation. A happy ever after. Those elements can land a book in two very different genres: MM romance, or gay romance. Come explore the differences in perception, expectations, tropes, execution, cliches, plots and more with gay romance author Caraway Carter. Engage in an opportunity to ask questions and walk away with valuable information about shaping the voice of the gay men in your romances.
A Fiction Writer’s Secret Weapon: Show, Don’t Tell (CRAFT)
Speaker: Leslie J. Hall
Show, don’t tell. What does it really mean? How can we use it in stories? We’ll review the true meaning and how it connects to point of view, setting, and description. We’ll discuss how this tool helps connect readers to our stories, what “tell” looks like, and how to change it to “show.” We’ll review the before and after examples from books and music, and from attendee in class exercises. Great workshop for any level of writer who wants their stories to be powerful.
The Five Principles of Creating Clarity (CRAFT)
Speaker: Hayley Milliman of ProWritingAid
As writers, we often spend too much time focusing on what our ideas are instead of how to communicate those ideas most effectively. If we don't sharpen our sentences with our readers in mind, then our ideas will get lost and our writing will be less engaging. In this actionable presentation, you will: Learn five key ways to improve the craft of your writing; discover how to self-edit to increase clarity and effectiveness.
Forever Young: Writing YA Fiction (CAREER)
Speaker: Patty Blount, Liz Hsu, Mary Karlik, Shaila Patel, and Lisa Brown Roberts
Join this panel of 5 award-winning and best-selling Young Adult authors for a lively discussion about what YA is and why it matters. (Hint: It is NOT a genre!) Our panel will define YA, identify its audience and its moderators in a debate about the necessity for a content rating system, and share predictions for 2022 YA fiction trends. We’ll also discuss routes to careers in YA fiction including traditional, indie and hybrid paths.
From Beginning to Middle to End: Step by Step (CRAFT)
Speaker: Anna DePalo
Every career depends on good writing craft, especially the in’s and out’s of beginnings, middles and endings. Drawing from both the hero’s journey and the three-act structure, and using examples from books and movies, USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Anna DePalo will show you how to navigate your way to the end while capturing readers' attention.
Harness Your Marketing Mindset Superpowers (CAREER)
Speaker: Carol Van Den Hende
To market your work, you need an author brand, visual identity and well-crafted marketing plans. After the hard work of writing a book, why do these marketing tasks seem daunting? Come to this workshop to learn from 20+ years of marketing and strategy experience. Find out why marketing isn’t manipulation. Overcome the most common marketing blockers using four simple mindset shifts. Join us to experience why one author said after Carol’s workshop: “You inspire me and fire me up every time. I can’t wait to market my book and my why!”
The Hero’s Journey and Tarot (CRAFT)
Speaker: Arwen Lynch-Poe
The Hero’s Journey is a familiar idea. Did you know you can use the Tarot to plot your characters’ journeys? Join Arwen Lynch-Poe for a fun trip. You’ll even find out how the Tarot cards can take your character from flat to lunch-date worthy. You will receive handouts with spreads and more.
Horses, Riding & Saddles, Oh My! (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Clarissa Kae
Learn equine basics, from prehistoric to modern day. We’ll go over top writer mistakes (feeding a horse a bucket of oats could be fatal). And why there’s never an American Quarter Horse behind Henry VIII’s carriage—spoiler alert—the breed didn’t exist yet. Experience a crash course in equine science, from breeding to feeding—including sensory details needed in a manuscript (the fuzziness of a horse’s winter coat, the gaited movement of a Tennessee walker, the bobbed tail of a Belgian, etc.). We’ll cover the foundation of horseback riding—saddle differences (Australian versus English, Hunter versus dressage…Old European, Modern European, etc.). The class will end with a Q&A for any enduring topics not covered.
Humor and Heat: How to Write Funny Without Sacrificing Sexual Tension (CRAFT)
Speaker: Darynda Jones
Darynda will give tips on how to add comedy to any book, how to take your sexual tension from lukewarm to blisteringly hot, and how inserting humor hits at the right time can amp up that tension even more.
The Indie Toolkit (BUSINESS)
Speaker: Sierra Simone
With greater control comes greater responsibility (and more legwork!). This workshop will cover the essentials an indie romance author needs to launch their work and also provide an overview of what makes a successful and enduring indie platform--with a focus on making a toolkit that is bespoke to each author's brand and vision.
It’s a Library Thing (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Tim Spalding, LibraryThing
Tim will show some ways LibraryThing can be used for author promotion and outreach generally and to librarians. Open a discussion on how LibraryThing can be utilized for author promotion, bookish social media, and libraries generally with other people who think about and are involved in it. Includes a demonstration of LibraryThing for authors and librarians or avid readers who want to catalog their books.
Loosing Your Inner Vixen: Writing Character-Driven Love Scenes (CRAFT)
Speaker: Naima Simone
Many authors find writing those scenes—the love scenes—intimidating or frustrating to write. The fear or hesitation can originate from embarrassment and the “Oh no, I can’t write that!” voice inside their heads. Or the belief they cannot write a believable, passionate love scene. These scenes involve choreography, intense emotion and capturing the reader’s imagination with all the senses, which can be difficult to accomplish. Whether the bedroom door is closed, cracked or thrown wide open, love scenes are important not only to the story and romance, but also to the relationship between the hero and heroine, and most times the characters’ personal growth and arc. How our characters make love is as much a part of their characterization as their back story. The purpose of this program is to offer the author an alternate way of approaching love scenes that may make writing them more fun and a little easier.
Make Book Marketing Fun and Easy with Book Brush (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Kathleen Sweeney
See how fun and easy it is to use the Book Brush tools to create eye-catching marketing images, social media graphics, book covers and box set images. Plus explore video effects, animation, book trailers and more! Kathleen will share handy tips and tricks along the way and have time for Q & A, too. Learn why authors say Book Brush saves them both time and money.
Making a Plan and Sticking with It (WRITER'S LIFE)
Speaker: Jaycee Jarvis
Do deadlines sneak up on you? Are you overwhelmed managing your writing business? Learn how to set manageable goals and stay on track for success.
Making Romance More Accessible: Not Everyone Reads with Their Eyes (INDUSTRY)
Speakers: Lamar Robinson and Beverly A. Williams from the Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
Log in for this informative discussion on talking books, book clubs for the visually impaired, and how talking books are made. How do you get a book made into Braille? Learn, ask questions, and find out more about a library system for those who do not read with their eyes.
Making the Leap from 5 to 6 Figures (CAREER)
Speaker: Ines Johnson
In this workshop, Ines Johnson will show you how she became an overnight success … after five years of bumbling mistakes. You’ll learn the secrets, which are mostly comprised of what not to do, as she details her missteps and failures up the slippery ladder of success from three figure to six figure author.
Making Your Own "Happy Ever After": How to Save for Retirement (CAREER)
Speaker: Aubrey Dark
This workshop will guide you through how to save and invest for your retirement. As authors, whether traditionally or self-published, we have unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to creating our own retirement plan. Bring all your money questions!
Meet the Romance Education Initiative (RWA)
Speaker: Elizabeth Schechter
This panel will introduce the new REI program, explain the structure and format, and give a brief overview of the educational offerings that already exist for RWA members, and the programs that are in development. Come and see what's new, what's different, and what educational offerings RWA has for romance writers in all stages of their professional careers!
Miniseries: Maximum Payoff (CRAFT)
Speaker: Joanne Rock
Explore the benefits of writing a miniseries while safeguarding against potential pitfalls with multi-genre author Joanne Rock. By analyzing what makes a successful series-- as well as a successful series pitch—this workshop provides straightforward insights into the creative development process. Discuss the different strengths of ongoing miniseries, cross line miniseries, continuities and the tried and true trilogy to help you choose the best marketing tools in your writer arsenal and deliver the kinds of miniseries that readers won't forget.
The More the Merrier: Writing Ménage and Reverse Harems (CRAFT)
Speaker: Eve Vaughn
Do you love reading menage and reverse harem stories? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing one but didn't know where to start? This course will give you a breakdown of writing menage and reverse harems and creating multiple protagonists with in-depth characterization. You'll also learn how to apply these poly relationships in any genre from paranormal to contemporary.
Opening Pages that Work (CRAFT)
Speaker: Veronica Forand
The first pages of a novel can pull in an agent, catch the attention of an editor, and most important, capture the heart of a reader. This workshop will help you create an opening that fits your genre, creates a hook, without ever losing your voice.
Plan to Succeed (CAREER)
Speaker: Camille Pagán
Publishing is a fickle, ever-changing business, so there’s no way to ensure success … right? Think again. Instead of keeping your nose to the grindstone and wishing for the best, there’s a whole lot you can do to create the career (and life) of your dreams. This workshop is designed to help you get clear on what you want to achieve and exactly how to achieve it—without losing sight of who you are as a writer or burning out.
The Pleasure of Writing Love Scenes (CRAFT)
Speaker: Sara Comeau
The Pleasure of Writing Love Scenes is designed for writers who struggle with or feel uncomfortable crafting a love scene. You will take part in peaceful and significant meditations, and identify how to overcome your fears of writing love scenes, while also raising the bar on the heat level for future stories.
You will understand your writing blocks as well as release them, get to know your characters sensual psyche, and explore yourself on a deep level, awakening your inner sensual god/goddess, which will invigorate your imagination, rewarding your characters in love with a scene they deserve!
This holistic, spiritual, and creative workshop is for a mature, open-minded audience who is looking to expand their writing skills while also getting to know themselves in a profound and soulful way. All spiritual modalities and discussions are completely non-denominational and are centered around healing and wholeness within.
Rejections, Bad Reviews, and Mean People (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Linda Mercury
This workshop gives real time, helpful tips to deal with rejections, bad reviews, and people who say cruel things. There is even a section on how to handle being called out for accidentally sliding into insulting the reader.
Researching Real People: Finding Romance in the Past (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Finola Austin
this talk, historical novelist Finola Austin will take writers through
her research process when crafting fiction inspired by real life
historical figures. Drawing on her academic background, and the year of
research she did before beginning to write her debut novel Bronte's Mistress, Finola will talk about desk, archival, and in-person research and how you can find inspiration in the past.
Researching the Online Materials of the Library of Congress (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Maggie Gigandet
Research is essential for fiction writers. Whether you want to make your story as factually accurate as possible or you are looking for inspiration for your next project, the Library of Congress has a wealth of online materials for you. Join this session for an introduction to these materials. You'll learn what to expect before you begin and will learn ten resources and research strategies to help you streamline this phase of your project. After all, research time is a terrible thing to waste!
Sapphic Romance: Truths & Myths (CRAFT)
Speaker: Eden Bradley
What do we know about writing romance and sex between women? And perhaps more importantly, what don’t we know? How do we write Sapphic romance in a way that truly celebrates queer love? New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Eden Bradley is a queer author of erotic romance, and she’s here to tell it like it really is! She’ll discuss myths around female/female love, sex and relationships, and offer insight into what these connections are really like. She’ll discuss LGBTQIA+ love in popular television and film, and will talk openly about her own experiences as a queer woman. She’ll also address the importance of #ownvoices within the romance community and respectfully addressing LGBTQIA+ fiction.
Self-Publishing: From A to Z (CAREER)
Speaker: Nate Hoffelder
Self-publishing can be a daunting topic, but it's one that authors ignore only at their own peril. This informational session will cover the basics of how authors can publish and market their book.
Starting with editing the manuscript, I'll walk you through the steps required to produce a professional quality book, and how to build a platform you can use to market your book and grow your career. I'll cover tools you can use to edit your manuscript, how to design a cover and format the book, how to bring your book to market, and how to grow your sales.
Attendees will leave the session with a list of resources they can use to turn their manuscript into a finished book.
Size Does Matter: Crafting Fantastic Fiction at Any Length (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jeannie Chin
From five page vignettes to eighteen volume epic fantasy series, the power of fiction doesn't need to be limited by its word count. In this workshop, we'll explore the creative freedom that comes from tackling different kinds of stories at different lengths, learn how to set the scope of your plot, and identify the secret sauce that makes stories of any size emotionally resonant. Armed with these tools, we'll also discuss marketing, pricing, and the best ways to strategically leverage both shorter and longer works to hook new readers—and keep them as avid fans for life.
Special Programming at Your Local Library (CAREER)
Speakers: Nicole Ashworth, Appleby Library, and Sherryl James, Dorchester County Library
Learn about innovative programming at branch libraries, how to partner with your local library, and how to be a part of the local literary scene. Have you donated any of your manuscripts to your library?
Spotlight on Entangled Publishing (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Stacy Cantor Abrams, Editorial Director
Spotlight on Reedsy (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Ricardo Fayet
Everything you need to know about Reedsy, from our main Marketplace offering to our free Editor writing and formatting tool, as well as our free Reedsy Learning and Reedsy Discovery.
Spotlight on Tule Publishing (INDUSTRY)
Spotlight on Wild Rose Press (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Morena Stamm
Stop Pantsing Your Career: Creating a Production Calendar You Can Live With (CAREER)
Speaker: Jeannie Chin
Take your career to the next level with this flexible approach for creating a production calendar custom tailored to your unique schedule, strengths and goals.
Too many authors create big plans only to fall short and lose momentum, while others “pants” their time and miss out on opportunities that require advance planning. By analyzing your current work patterns, we’ll set reasonable long-term goals, then work backward to assign individual tasks to specific time frames. We’ll explore methods for keeping you accountable and motivated, and discuss making adjustments that will allow you to proceed with confidence even when unanticipated obstacles arise.
This interactive, hands-on workshop is a must for anyone looking to get organized and get serious about tackling their author goals.
Tension’s the Thing (CRAFT)
Speaker: Maisey Yates
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!
Town Hall with Publishers Weekly (INDUSTRY)
Speaker: Cevin Bryerman, CEO/Publisher, Publishers Weekly
Enjoy this informative conversation on the magazine used by bookstores
and libraries to select books for the shelves. Cevin Bryerman, CEO of Publishers Weekly,
will host an open discussion on the selection of books for review in
the periodical as well as getting your books covered in the magazine. He
will also discuss the latest trends for indie authors and how Publishers Weekly is changing the game.
Turbocharging Your Series (CAREER)
Speaker: Janie Crouch
Janie Crouch talks about the launch of her 14-book romantic suspense series, which has made over $1million since the first book released in September 2018. She discusses real figures—what she spent and what she made—as well as her strategies for writing, releasing, and enticing readers.
Using Emotional Wounds and GMC to Create Compelling Stories (CRAFT)
Speaker: Tobi Doyle
Want to create a compelling story with high conflict, tension, emotion? This workshop is an in-depth look at plotting your story, taking you step-by-step by starting with your characters’ emotional wounds to power their external and internal goals, motivations, and conflicts. Participants will learn how to make their plot points make an emotional impact that wow’s their readers.
What Is Your Publishing Personality? A Cosmo Quiz to Determine Your Future in the Biz (CAREER)
Speaker: Roan Parrish
Big five and self-pub and hybrid, oh my! There are so many options for publishing these days, and so many variables to determine which will suit you best. In this workshop, we'll look at your personality traits, habits, and preferences to figure out which path is going to be the most rewarding, nourishing, and sustaining for you, no matter where you are in your writing and publishing career.
Works Well with Others: Critique Groups (CRAFT)
Speaker: Lynn Lovegreen
Working well with others is a good skill for many professions, including writing. In this workshop, you’ll get ideas on how to work with a critique group to improve your writing and support other writers. We’ll also discuss how to form and keep a group together, and how to break it off when a group isn’t working for you.
Write 10K in a Day: Avoid Burnout (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Lydia Michaels
Take a comprehensive approach, and discover the keys to sustainable author success in an oversaturated book market, while placing a higher value on your personal well being! Based on the groundbreaking book, Write 10K in a Day, Lydia Michaels shares 15 years of industry experience and invaluable author secrets.
This session will cover 3 areas of writing life: 1. The Health & Well Being of the Writer 2. The Business of Writing 3. The Craft
Writer's Law School: Protecting Your Artistic Rights (CAREER)
Speaker: Jodé Millman
For writers, it’s difficult to obtain information about protecting your rights in your creative projects. And if you do, it’s difficult to decipher the “legalese.”
In this workshop designed for writers, we’ll cover the basics of copyrights, trademarks and key provisions of publishing contracts so that you’ll understand the fine print without having a law degree.
In this session, you'll learn:
• The differences between Copyright, Trademarks, Patents and Service Marks
• The Copyright Registration Process and the CASE law
• What is the Public Domain?
• What is the Fair Use Doctrine?
• Which Business Entity is best for my writing career?
• What are the Right of Privacy, Libel and Slander?
• The Anatomy of a Publishing Deal-Contract Basics
• Resources to help you protect your rights
Writing the Male POV: Creating Better Heroes (CRAFT)
Speaker: Sascha Illyvich
In this workshop, we’ll break down the eight archetypes a little, give a bit of background on the male mindset and psychology behind it, and delve deeper into the male mind. We’ll explore how his issues affect your plot, why what those issues are is important, and how we make him come across.
Writing Romantic Suspense (CRAFT)
Speaker: Rebecca York
A romantic suspense novel is the story of two people falling in love against a background of suspense and danger. Both the suspense and romance elements must blend so that the story will only work if both are present throughout the book. This workshop will discuss how to blend these aspects and how to heighten the tension of both the romance and the suspense.