Pen to Paper Accolades

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Well done 2022-2023 Participants, Guides, and Volunteers!

By Nicole Johnson, Assistant Participant Liaison

When I joined Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing as a participant during its first year, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d been writing for a long time, and I thought it was finally time to take my writing seriously by participating in Pen to Paper. I was excited that I would get to meet and interact with other romance writers, learn about the craft of romance writing, and finally get the nerve to submit and receive feedback on my writing. Not only did all of these things happen, but I received so much more. By the time the program finished, I truly felt like I was part of a writing community. I felt like I had the tools, knowledge, and supportive peers to help me take the next step with my writing. Also, I learned that the romance writing community is a collaborative, generous place to be.

It was because of Pen to Paper I had the opportunity to join the Unpublished Member Benefits Committee. This experience gave me a chance to be on the other side of Pen to Paper, and even though I wasn’t a participant, it was another opportunity to learn and grow.    

For the participants of Pen to Paper, this chapter in their writing journey may be ending, but their lives as authors are really just beginning. Participants will miss their weekly partner circles, writing sprints, and those valuable one-on-one meetings with their guides, much as I did, but the relationships they’ve built will continue, and more opportunities for networking and fellowship will present themselves. As Pen to Paper comes to a close, a huge congratulations to all of the participants for enrolling to take this significant step in their writing career. This is just the beginning!

With pride, the Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing program, the Unpublished Member Benefits Committee, and the Romance Writers of America acknowledge our 2022-2023 Pen to Paper participants:

Always and Forever: Lucinda Brown, Diane Elliott, Julia Fortune, Jennifer German, Jan Johnson, Stephanie Mickens, and Carlene Noelsaint. Guides: Kristina Knight and Felicia Mason

Dark Secret: Cheryle Crawford, Pam Hackett, Arneida Mapp, and Audrey Neet. Guides: Joi Jackson and Terri Molina   

Enemies to Lovers: Sky Antoine, Kerrie Herron, Barbara Lucas, Katie Rogow, Amanda Sterling, Melissa Stone, and Valerie Wells. Guides: Jaylee Austin and Renee Wildes
Friends to Lovers: Kate Aras, Becky Fendrick, Leah Miles, Sally Murphy, and Paula Robinson. Guides: Judith “JP” Bastin and Danica Winters
Soul Mates: Barbara Clark, Jennifer Henshall, Danielle McCurry, Ellen Merriss, Mary Montanye, and Glenda Ouellette. Guides: Julie Cameron and Romy Sommer  
Star Crossed Lovers: Tina Canalita, Sylvia Douglas, Mary Todd, Margaret Trombly, and Alice Vossbrinck. Guides:  Patty Blount and Terri Patrick
Stolen Kisses: Sonja Bair, Summer Browning, Jennifer Dore, and Kimberly Monaghan. Guides: Sherrie Lea Morgan and Kathy L Wheeler
Up All Nighters: Catherine Adamic, Nicola Dahlin, Michelle Kouzmine, Catherine Olteanu, Lafronda Stumn, and Kate Wish. Guides: Jennifer Bokal and Tracee Garner

We look forward to reading the romance stories these wonderful writers created this year and will craft in the years to come!    

Over the last several months, Pen to Paper participants worked with their guides, but behind the scenes, many individuals worked tirelessly to find ways to create the best experience for members. All of the many writing sprints, workshops, special virtual events, and the logistical parts of running the program would not have been possible without the dedication of the following individuals:

Volunteer Event Hosts
Jennifer Bokal
Grace Burrowes
Jaimie Engle
Lori Hayes
Peggy Jaeger
Kristina Knight
Niki Mitchell
Sherrie Lea Morgan
Lynda Rees
Claudia Severin
Kathy L Wheeler
Renee Wildes
Lara Zielinsky

Workshop Contributors
Jaylee Austin
Judith “JP” Bastin
Jennifer Bokal
Jeevani Charika
Kristina Knight
Felicia Mason
Terri Molina
Sherrie Lea Morgan
Sherry Thomas
Kathy L Wheeler
Renee Wildes
Danica Winters

Unpublished Member Benefits Committee
Jennifer Althiser - Participant Liaison, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Patty Blount - Instructional Design, UMBC Assistant Chair, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Kelsey Bonacker - Communications, Instructional Design
Julie Cameron - Assistant Guide Liaison, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Louisa Cornell - Board Liaison, Workshop Contributor
Aparna Devershetty - Project Manager, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Erin Fry - Staff Adviser
Tracee Garner - Guide Liaison, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Susan Guest - Program Adviser, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Joi Jackson - Technology Liaison, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Nicole Johnson - Assistant Participant Liaison, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Erin Novotny - Program Adviser, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Jackie Padilla - RWA Staff Adviser
Jacki Renee - Board Liaison
Leslie Scantlebury - RWA Staff Adviser
Stephanie Shiflett - Instructional Design
Katherine Eddinger Smits - Program Manager, UMBC Chair, Event Host, Workshop Contributor
Romy Sommer - REI Liaison, Instructional Design, Event Host, Workshop Contributor

Thank you to our volunteers for their selfless dedication to the participants.