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Workshops

We're working on a great slate of sessions for virtual RWA2020, check back for more workshops soon!

Workshops are open to registered conference attendees. Attendees will have access to most workshop recordings through the end of 2020. Please email workshops@rwa.org for more information.

 

Master Classes

More Master Classes will be added at a later date. Please check back!

Penny Reid

Guidance and Lessons Learned: Collaborative Worlds for Author Owners and Collaborators

Speakers: Penny Reid of Smartypants Romance, Kilby Blades, and Cathy Yardley

*Conference Exclusive! Not available for on-demand access after conference.

Join three best-selling, award-winning romance authors as they delve into author worlds from both the owner and collaborator perspectives. This in-depth master class will cover everything from different author world models, communication between collaborators, marketing approaches, legal considerations, how to measure success, and so much more.

 



Liz Pelletier
Growth Hacking a Bestseller

Speaker: Liz Pelletier, Publisher and CEO of Entangled Publishing

Growth what? Growth hacking is one of the hottest buzzwords in marketing today, responsible for start-up viral sensations like Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook, and the original Hotmail. Few people realize that to guarantee success, the principles of growth hacking must be implemented long before a product is released. But how can an author apply these techniques when writing/self-editing/marketing their novel to better ensure a hit? Join publisher and editor Liz Pelletier as she demonstrates a new and innovative way to develop, write, edit, and market a book with the greatest chance of making your next release a best seller.




Workshops


More workshops will be added in the coming weeks. Please check back for more exciting sessions to be offered at RWA2020!

Updated July 9, 2020

Audiobooks 101 (CAREER)

Speakers: Kelsey Navarro and Tim Paige
As audiobook sales grow and romance fans demand audio versions of their favorite authors' books, it's more important than ever to bring your titles to audio. In this session, professional audiobook narrators Kelsey Navarro and Tim Paige will take you step-by-step through the process of getting your audiobook produced. You'll learn how to find and audition narrators, what you need to have ready before you start, how to navigate the various platforms, which style of narration to choose (dual, duet, full cast, solo), and more. By the end of this session, you'll have the knowledge you need to cash in on the audiobook boom.


Awaken the Senses (CRAFT)

Speaker: Eden Bradley
New York Times and USA Today best-selling erotic romance author Eden Bradley leads you through an exercise in sensuality in this hands-on workshop. She’ll teach you how to tune in to the five senses and use them to enrich every scene you write—not just love scenes! Learn how to focus your sensory response and translate those sensations into language that will engage your readers and deepen your characters, making for more compelling stories. There will be writing exercises and prompts as we explore sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch! (A list of sensory items to gather in advance of the workshop will be made available.)
*Conference Exclusive! Not available for on-demand access after conference. 


A Critical Discussion on the History of Black Category Romance (INDUSTRY)

Speakers: Shirley Hailstock, Donna Hill, and Sandra Kitt
Moderator: Jamee Pritchard

Published 40 years ago, Entwined Destinies by African American journalist Elsie Washington (a.k.a. Rosalind Welles) was the first category romance to portray Black love. The novel was introduced by Dell Candlelight in 1980 under the editorial leadership of Vivian Stephens as the “first ethnic Candlelight Romance” in a new program designed to reach a neglected market of readers of various ethnic backgrounds. Stephens and Washington set the precedent for Black category romance, ushering in a vanguard of Black writers that offered representations of Black love and relationships in a genre that had historically excluded them.

In this panel, Sandra Kitt, Shirley Hailstock, and Donna Hill discuss their careers as romance writers and pioneers in Black romance. They offer their experiences, insights, and perspectives on a diverse range of topics on the history of the genre that includes the 1990s boom of Black category romance, the importance of Black imprints, and the future of the genre. The panel is moderated by Jamee Pritchard, a graduate student of history and women's and gender studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Dark Moments and Killer Endings (CRAFT)

Speaker: Annika Martin
A great dark moment is everything! It’s that gut punch your characters didn’t know they needed, the burn-it-all-down scene that leads to their rising from the ashes transformed, worthy of that HEA. It’s also one of the most OMG-difficult things to write. We’ll go over approaches to crafting a fierce dark moment, the five types of dark moments, and ideas for keeping those emotions high right up to your galloping end!


From Heart to Page to Print: A Primer Guide to Book Publishing (CAREER)

Speaker: Savannah Frierson
Publishing a book is now more accessible than ever, but people often are stuck on what path is best to take. This workshop presents basic tips and advice on how to:

  • approach the stages of the writing and publishing process,
  • become clear on what you're writing for whom and why, so you can find and build your audience before hitting the marketplace,
  • identify and dismantle blocks and minimize challenges experienced on this journey, particularly ones rooted in mindset,
  • gain empowerment to pursue your publishing journey, and more.

Hot with Plot: Love Scenes that Push the Story Forward (CRAFT)

Speaker: Nikki Sloane
You can’t pause the story when your characters want to hop into bed, but how do you keep the plot going as they get down to business? Join a three-time erotic romance RITA finalist as she discusses creating memorable love scenes that drive the story forward, reveal character, and generate page-turning conflict.


Laughter Is Serious Business (CRAFT)

Speakers: Tracy Brogan and Sally Kilpatrick
Adding humor to your work is no joke. Two best-selling authors share their tried and true tricks for tickling your readers' funny bones--and for keeping those readers turning pages.


Let’s Talk About Sex (CRAFT)

Speaker: LaQuette
Struggling with writing believable sex scenes? This is the workshop for you. Learn how to create emotional, concrete, believable sex scenes that leave your characters breathless and your readers begging for more. (NSFW)


Leverage Photoshop to Help You Sell (CAREER)

Speaker: Regina Wamba of Mae I. Design
Join book cover designer and photographer Regina Wamba for a creative and comprehensive beginner's course for authors who want to level up their design skills, create their own marketing graphics, and leverage Photoshop to help them sell!


Pack Your Bags: Using Travel to Enhance Your Writing (CRAFT)

Speaker: Hudson Lin
Every time you step outside, you are traveling. Whether it be down the street to a local coffee shop or on a plane to the other side of the world, seeing your story through the lens of travel can greatly enhance your writing. How do travel hijinks such as a fender bender or a missed flight add complications to your story? How does your character feel when returning home for the first time in a long time? How can a character’s development be mirrored in the starting point, transition, and ultimate destination of travel? Explore all this and more in this interactive workshop. Bring your WIPs and your travel experiences for an entertaining discussion!


Plot or Pants with Scrivener 3 (CAREER)

Speaker: Gwen Hernandez
Scrivener is excellent writing software for both plotters and pantsers. Want to find out what makes it so popular or learn some new tricks? The author of Scrivener For Dummies will walk you through the basics and cover some of her favorite features.


Plot Smarter, Not Harder (CRAFT)

Speaker: Annabeth Albert
In this workshop, we'll take an in-depth look at how scene-by-scene plotting can help you write smarter and faster. Hit necessary story beats regardless of your target story length, predict scenes needed to achieve your goals, and avoid extensive rewrites in edits with tighter plotting. Go deep on character growth, keep pacing crisp, and tension high. Extensive examples and an interactive worksheet will be provided as we take your existing process to the next level! Never plotted? No problem! Resources for beginning and experienced plotters will be included.


Podcasting for Authors (CAREER)

Speaker: L. Penelope
Join author and podcaster L. Penelope in a workshop on the benefits of podcasts for authors. Learn tips and best practices for being a good podcast guest, what it takes to start and maintain your own author podcast, and why you may want to.


Quarantine Blues: Getting Your Mojo Back After a Major Event (CAREER)

Speaker: Jamie K. Schmidt
When life kicks you in the teeth and all seems lost, little things start can start slipping away until you're left feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated. In this workshop, USA Today best-selling author Jamie K. Schmidt will show you how to get some control over the little things so they don't avalanche and bury you neck deep.  From smoothie recipes to the perils of doom scrolling, you'll come away from this workshop with tools to help right your course and write your novel.


Save Your Sanity — and Your Writing: Password Management, Computer Security, and Backup Strategies for the Busy Writer (CAREER)

Speaker: Win Day
Implementing some simple practices for computer security, password management, and backups can save your bacon — and your sanity. Ever locked yourself out of an online account because you forgot your password? Or realized your computer was acting a little weird or sluggish? Or lost a day’s work (or more!) because you hadn’t backed up your work in a while? There are easy fixes to all these issues. It might take some time to set up, but once you have made a habit of taking care of your technology, your technology will take care of you.


Six-Figure Serials (CAREER)

Speaker: Alana Albertson
In this session, we will explore the world of serial fiction: What is serial fiction? How can I write serial fiction? What are some different options for publishing serial fiction? Best-selling author Alana Albertson has over 1.1 million reads on her Se7en Deadly SEALs serial. She will share the exact strategies she used to make more than six figures on this serial.


Tell Me the Why: Character Motivation and Why It Is a Vital Part of Your Book (CRAFT)

Speaker: Anna J. Stewart
While GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict) is one of those unofficial golden rules of romance publishing, motivation is frequently overlooked. The focus of this workshop is to help authors understand and dig deep for believable and realistic motivations behind why their characters (all their characters) act, feel, and think as they do.


Top Ten Checklist for a Successful Promo Push! (CAREER)

Speakers: Marissa Caldwell and Laurie Cooper, Pub-Craft
The Pub-Craft Team is ready to equip you with a complete checklist of everything you need to execute an effective (and stress free!) promotional push! Laurie and Marissa offer you tips on the ins and outs of marketing books -- whether you are traditionally published, self-published, or hybrid. Their Top Ten Promo Checklist is perfect for authors dipping their toes into a concentrated marketing push for the first time or for those who need a little more order and organization put back into their advertising efforts. This top-ten list covers everything from the pre-published to post-release stages of promotion. This workshop will be presented in a panel format with time dedicated to Q&A. Speakers plan to respond to the specific concerns of the attendees and spend a portion of the workshop answering questions.


Turn That Book into a Movie Script (CRAFT)

Speaker: Kim Hornsby
Hollywood loves book adaptations and producers love authors! Have you thought about adapting your book to a movie but didn't know where to start? You're halfway there as an author. In this packed workshop, you'll learn how to boil down a story to the key scenes to transfer your book to a script format. Guaranteed pain-free, you'll study Kim's easy adaptation method while learning the three-act structure, script formatting, and more. Join USA Today best-selling author and awarded screenwriter Kim Hornsby to turn that book into a feature film or a TV show!


Writing Alpha Heroines: How to Create Alpha Heroines Who Prove that Femininity Is Fierce (CRAFT)

Speaker: Angelina M. Lopez
Angelina discusses how to create kick-ass heroines who are strong because of their femininity, not in spite of it. Angelina’s debut novel, Lush Money, featured a billionaire businesswoman, but she doesn’t believe “strong” women are defined by their roles or their toughness. Let her help you craft women ready to take on whatever stands in their way that readers will root for.


Writing Intimacy and Sexual Tension (CRAFT)

Speaker: Molly O'Keefe
No matter what you are writing -- romance, women’s fiction, YA, mystery -- the key to any book with characters in and out of relationships is intimacy. And, in romance, the key to believable sexual tension that creates hot and interesting sex is … you guessed it, intimacy. In this interactive workshop, we will learn how to develop intimacy and create sexual tension that will keep your readers glued to the pages.