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RWA2016 Workshops by Date and Time

 

Workshops and times subject to change. Workshops are first-come, first-served for registered conference attendees. PAN workshops are not audio recorded. Other sessions not recorded will be marked in the RWA Conference program.

Workshop question? E-mail workshops@rwa.org.

 

Thursday, July 14

 

6:30 – 7:30 a.m.

 

Zumba® Fitness: Ditch the Workout, Join the Party (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Lisa Siefert
Zumba® Fitness takes the work out of workout by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an international-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Called exercise in disguise, Zumba® classes are sure to get your heart rate up without you even noticing—until you’ve already burned through 500 calories!

 

 

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

 

An Inside Look at Amazon’s Kindle Worlds (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Debra Holland, Cat Johnson, Louella Nelson, and Carly Phillips
Join New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors in a frank discussion about Amazon’s Kindle Worlds and the opportunities, challenges, and earnings available to writers contributing stories as well as to authors who license their worlds.

 

Being Prolific and Productive While Remaining Sane (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Robin Covington, Laura Kaye, and Rebecca Zanetti
When juggling multiple series and/or publishers, writing time becomes a luxury, and every minute has to count. Multipublished authors will give practical tips about writing software, time management, and self-motivation. No questions are off limits!

 

Chat: Erotic Romance (CHAT)
Speakers: Lauren Dane, J. Kenner, and Alisha Rai
Best-selling authors discuss the erotic romance subgenre.

 

Dialogue: It’s More than What You Say (CRAFT)
Speaker: Julia Quinn
Dialogue affects every corner of your manuscript, from characterization to voice, pacing to point of view. In this lively workshop, Julia Quinn will help writers learn how to make their dialogue shine.

 

Faking It: An Introvert’s Guide to Networking (CAREER)
Speaker: Liberty Blake
Learn how to go from being an introvert to faking your way to being Miss Congeniality.

 

I Know How She Does It: Marketing Secrets from a Career in Law, Public Relations, and Fundraising (CAREER)
Speaker: Kate Hilton
In this hands-on, interactive workshop, best-selling author Kate Hilton teaches writers how to harness their advocacy skills, build powerful relationships, and create an authentic brand.

 

Series Bible: The Savior of a Long-Running Series (CRAFT)
Speakers: Jaci Burton and Jill Shalvis
What difference does it make if a character has two grandchildren or three? How about eye color or the date the hero and heroine from book two were married? All of these are important factors when writing a series. Series bibles and timelines are critical reference tools whether you’re writing a three-book or twelve-book series or more.

 

Some Like It Sweet (CRAFT)
Speakers: Winnie Griggs, Deb Kastner, Terri Reed, and Pamela Tracy
Authors of sweet and inspirational romance discuss what a sweet romance is (hint: it’s a whole lot more than no sex) and how to make it a satisfying page-turner.

 

Spotlight on Soul Mate Publishing

 

 

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

 

Bonnets, Buggies, and Bare Feet: Researching Your Amish Novel (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Adina Senft
Join RITA Award® winner Adina Senft for tips on researching a culture that doesn’t open itself easily to “outsiders,” despite its popularity on the bookshelves.

 

Build a Character, Build a Book (CRAFT)
Two Hours
Speaker: Christie Craig a.k.a C.C. Hunter
Using simple techniques, New York Times best-selling author Christie Craig teaches how to create engaging characters one building block at a time. Goals, flaws, fears, conflicts, and plot development—they all stem from character. 

 

The Experts Share: 2016’s Hottest New Trends in Romance Publishing (CAREER)
Two Hours
Speakers: Nancy Berland, John Charles, Bette-Lee Fox, Cissy Hartley, Kristin Ramsdell, Cynthia Shannon, and Margaret Terwey
This session was a big hit last year, and now it’s back to update you on the hottest new trends in romance publishing. You don’t want to miss it!

 

From First Revision to Final Polish (CRAFT)
Two Hours
Speaker: Laurie Schnebly
This workshop covers the psychological and the practical aspects of the first revision through the final polish: when to do it, why (and why not), how to make the process easier, and how to know when you’re finished. Participants learn to improve their plots and/or character arcs and how to balance thematic highlights, action and narrative, and dialogue and description.

 

From Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After: Structural Guidelines for Plotting and Pacing (CRAFT)
Speaker: Dee Davis
Learn techniques to help create a winning plot, brick by brick, from the first word to the last.

 

The Joy of Writing (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Anne Elizabeth, Kim Lowe, Cathy Maxwell, and Julie Rowe
Best-selling, award-winning, and perpetually positive authors share how they savor their passion for writing while navigating the pitfalls of the publishing industry.

 

Plan for Success: Create a Motivational Business Plan for Your Writing Career (CAREER)
Speaker: Stephanie Bond
Whether you’re a beginning writer or you need to regroup, creating a business plan for your writing career will put you on the path to success. Learn how to build a master document to navigate the many publishing roads open to working writers.

 

Spotlight on Kensington

 

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

The Art and Science of Writing Deep POV (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jeanette Grey
Writing in deep point of view puts readers in the minds of your characters. Discover new ways to get into the heads of your characters and bring their stories to life. Also, pick up tricks for refining your writing and revising with an eye to creating the richest, deepest point of view possible.

 

Branding and Series Design (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Skye Jordan and Elisabeth Naughton
Readers love to invest in characters and worlds they know, understand, and care about. In this workshop, we’ll go beyond the basics of cover design and back blurbs to show you how branding and series design are more than skin deep. Learning to brand from the inside out will leave your readers clamoring for the next installation in your series.

 

Build a Character, Build a Book (CRAFT)
Continued
Speaker: Christie Craig a.k. C.C. Hunter
Using simple techniques, New York Times best-selling author Christie Craig teaches how to create engaging characters one building block at a time. Goals, flaws, fears, conflicts, and plot development—they all stem from character. 

 

Chat: Young Adult Romance
Speakers: Ally Carter, P.C. Cast, and Pintip Dunn
Best-selling authors discuss the young-adult romance subgenre.

 

The Experts Share: 2016’s Hottest New Trends in Romance Publishing (CAREER)
Continued
Speakers: Nancy Berland, John Charles, Bette-Lee Fox, Cissy Hartley, Kristin Ramsdell, and Margaret Terwey
This session was a big hit last year, and now it’s back to update you on the hottest new trends in romance publishing. You don’t want to miss it!

 

From First Revision to Final Polish (CRAFT)
Continued
Speaker: Laurie Schnebly
This workshop covers the psychological and the practical aspects of the first revision through the final polish: when to do it, why (and why not), how to make the process easier, and how to know when you’re finished. Participants learn to improve their plots and/or character arcs and how to balance thematic highlights, action and narrative, and dialogue and description.

 

From Football and Art School to Belly Dancing and Ballet: What Not Being a Writer Can Teach You about Writing (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Jolene Navarro and Teri Wilson
In this workshop, the authors explain how their backgrounds in art school, belly dancing, football, and ballet have helped them navigate the rough waters of publishing and create unexpected magic on the page.

 

Spotlight on Sourcebooks

 

The When, Why, and How of Reinvention and Diversification (CAREER)
Speakers: J. Kenner, Kevan Lyon, and Alix Rickloff
Reinvention and diversification have become powerful tools for authors to increase their readership and gain new success. Learn the ins and outs of reinvention including finding your core story, self- and traditional publishing, as well as managing reader expectations, social media and multiple deadlines.

 

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Chemistry (CRAFT)
Speaker: Sherry Thomas
Chemistry is one of the most important ingredients in a dynamic, can’t-put-down romance. And, yet, it is one of the most elusive qualities to define and pin down. Discover how to create the sizzle that will keep readers glued to the page.

 

Contemporary Romance A to Z: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Forging Ahead in Today’s Competitive Contemporary Romance Market but Were Afraid to Ask (CAREER)
Speakers: Sarah Morgan, Jill Shalvis, and RaeAnne Thayne
Covering the spectrum from sexy to sweet, best-selling authors and RWA Honor Roll members discuss craft, career, and how to survive the writing life without resorting to cookies.

 

How I Learned to Show, Not Tell (CRAFT)
Speaker: Claire Sanders
Learning how to “show, not tell” is often one of the most difficult challenges beginning writers face. Participants will develop actions and dialogue that will depict a character’s thoughts and personality.

 

I Can’t Believe This Is History (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Ursula Renee
Researching the decades between the Roaring Twenties and the Disco Era.

 

Maximize Your Discoverability on Amazon (CAREER)
Speaker: Daniel Slater
Join us for an in-depth discussion on how to effectively utilize Amazon’s tools to reach more readers. Learn what Amazon does to make your books more discoverable for readers and what you, the author, can do to help. In the session, we’ll cover everything from the dos and don’ts of metadata to maximizing your reach through Ads and Amazon Author Follow.

 

Spotlight on Audible Studios

 

Spotlight on Carina Press

 

The Typed Writer: Find Your Writing Wheelhouse and Kryptonite (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Cindy Dees
What’s your greatest strength as a writer? What’s your kryptonite? Join New York Times best-selling author Cindy Dees as she shows you how to make your writing move faster, more effectively, and more efficiently for you.

 

Using Character Archetypes to Find Your Story (CRAFT)
Speaker: Hope Ramsay
This hands-on workshop gives writers at every level valuable tools to develop three-dimensional characters who have room to grow, develop, and fall in love. Attendees will learn how to use the positive and negative traits of personality archetypes to develop a strong, emotional love story. 

 

 

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

 

Building an Audience (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Cristin Harber, Anne Marsh, and Zoe York
Three New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors share a practical plan for finding and retaining readers who rock. This workshop will cover a five-step foundation for starting a new author on the right path and then introduce strategies, tips and tricks for veteran authors looking to grow their reader base and turn the casual readers they already have into more loyal, regular buyers.

 

Chat: Inspirational Romance
Speakers: Belle Calhoune, Shelley Shepard Gray, Marta Perry and Renee Ryan
Best-selling authors discuss the inspirational romance subgenre.

 

Newsletters: The Author’s Powerhouse Tool (CAREER)
Speakers: Mel Jolly and Sarah Wendell
The newsletter is among the most powerful and useful tools for reaching readers directly. In this workshop, attendees will learn about the importance of a mailing list, how to develop one and keep it growing, and what kind of newsletters work best—as well as what not to do.

 

Secret Life of Pantsers, Magic Tricks, and Delightful Games (CRAFT)
Speaker: Kathleen Baldwin
Why do you write the way you write? Are you a frustrated “pantser” living in a “plotter’s” world? What do your brainwaves have to do with it? Plotters and pantsers alike will benefit from Baldwin’s tricks, tools, and delightful games that make a writer’s life easier.

 

Spotlight on BookShots

 

Spotlight on Riptide Publishing

 

Walking the Land: Building a World That Makes Readers Feel They’ve Visited Your Setting (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jodi Thomas
Discover how to create the essentials to make the world of your stories come alive. Help your readers "walk the land" with you so they feel as if they’ve visited your setting, not just read about it. (Active workshop.)

 

Writing Characters with Disabilities: A Moderated Discussion and Idea Exchange for Authors (CRAFT)
Moderated by Karen Rose, a profoundly hard of hearing author whose two children are also disabled.

 

Writing Great Characters: The Good, the Bad, the Believable. Practical Steps You Can Take to Give Your Characters Depth and Dimension (CRAFT)
Speaker: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Award-winning, best-selling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips shares practical advice on how writers can give their characters depth and dimension.

 

 

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 

What Really Happens at a Romance Novel Cover Photo Shoot (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Jennifer Jakes and Kimberly Killion
Join The Killion Group, Inc., for a live mock photo shoot where you can see how a day of shooting romance covers goes. A lucky attendee will be chosen to pose with a male model(s).

 


 

Friday, July 15

 

6:30 – 7:30 a.m.

 

Yogilates (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Lisa Siefert
Have the best of both worlds for the best mind-body experience ever! The first half of this class will consist of core Pilates moves to strengthen and lengthen. Then, the second half of the class will go into some relaxing yoga poses for maximum stretch.

 

 

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

 

Be the Voice (CRAFT)
Speaker: Erin Quinn
Voice is an elusive and critical element of being a successful author. In this workshop, author Erin Quinn reviews tactical steps to identifying and nurturing your writer’s voice.

 

Chat: Contemporary Romance
Speakers: Sylvia Day, Barbara Freethy, and Lena Hart
Best-selling authors discuss the contemporary romance subgenre.

 

Focus on KDP, CreateSpace, and ACX (SELF-PUBLISHING)
1.5 Hours
Speakers: Coleen Barr, Daniel Slater, and David Symonds
Are you “format complete”? That is, do all of your books have a print, e-book, and audio version? Leaders from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace, and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) are on hand to explain the process and the benefits they offer. Even if you already offer your books in all formats, the workshop’s focus on marketing tips and tactics, as well as marketing opportunities and selling opportunities within Amazon, will be fruitful.

 

It’s All about the Audience: How to Find Readers and Build and Keep Your Audience (CAREER)
Speakers: Courtney Milan and Alisha Rai
This workshop discusses how to build an audience by being true to yourself and your books. We will start with a worksheet to help you figure out what sets you apart in the romance world. Then, we’ll discuss strategies for how to convey that sense of yourself through your social media, stories, and covers, so that people remember your name and look for your books.

 

Newsletters, Back Matter, and Other Indie Marketing Strategies (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Deanna Chase and Violet Vaughn
Learn the variety of ways authors can utilize newsletters and backmatter to cultivate true fans and keep readers clicking for more. Deanna and Violet will talk about redirects, drip campaigns, cooperative newsletter efforts and more to help you make the most of precious ebook real estate and email marketing efforts.

 

Spotlight on Ballantine Bantam Dell and Loveswept

 

Virtual Assistants and the Organized Author (CAREER)
Speakers: Mel Jolly and Sarah Wendell
In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to evaluate virtual assistants and identify tasks you’d like to outsource. We’ll share tips and tricks to managing an effective relationship and discuss how to avoid common problems. The end goal: a more relaxed, organized, and effective creative entrepreneur.

 

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

Cash and Creativity: How Cleaning Up Your Finances Can Spark New Creative Success (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Angele McQuade
This workshop will teach writers strategies to uncover the truth about their finances, tie up energy-draining financial loose ends, as well as learn simple, more effective ways to organize and manage their money. Be prepared to leave the workshop inspired to take enthusiastic, deliberate action toward both your creative and financial goals. Note: Please bring paper, pen, and an open mind for our in-class exercises.

 

Character Excavation (CRAFT)
Speakers: Kristan Higgins, Farrah Rochon, and Damon Suede
In this session, the speakers will drill down past arcs and stereotypes into what makes fictional folks burn and shimmer on the page. They’ll also unpack some helpful tools: the power of deep characterization to structure your story, how to skirt the swamps of backstory and the traps of tropes, and the source of that essential spark that brings fictional folks to life (and love) on the page.

 

Chat with Nora Roberts
Speaker: Nora Roberts
Best-selling author Nora Roberts will discuss and take questions on writing and maintaining a long and successful writing career.

 

Focus on KDP, CreateSpace, and ACX (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Continued
Speakers: Coleen Barr, Daniel Slater, and David Symonds
Are you “format complete”? That is, do all of your books have a print, e-book, and audio version? Leaders from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace, and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) are on hand to explain the process and the benefits they offer. Even if you already offer your books in all formats, the workshop’s focus on marketing tips and tactics, as well as marketing opportunities and selling opportunities within Amazon, will be fruitful.

 

From Mid-list to Mad Money: How to Set Yourself Up for Self-Publishing Success (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Kristen Painter and Roxanne St. Claire
Best-selling, award-winning (and formerly traditionally published) indie authors share their secrets for launching an indie publishing career. Get the inside scoop on how these authors went from traditionally published mid-list to indies making six figures a year.

 

In Search of the Truth: Research Online and In Person (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Betty Bolte and Veronica Forand
Learn how and where to locate sources to answer specific questions and how to verify the accuracy of the source itself. Topics covered include online sources, conducting interviews with industry professionals, research libraries, and uncovering information at historical sites and museums.

 

Mastering the Art of Great Conflict (CRAFT)
Speaker: Sarah MacLean
Conflict is king in romance. The trickiest part of writing a great romance novel is keeping the hero and heroine on the page while keeping them far from their happily ever after (HEA). Join New York Times best-selling author Sarah MacLean for a discussion of building and maintaining great conflict, all ensuring that your HEA is hard won.

 

Spotlight on MIRA/HQN/Harlequin Teen

 

 

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

 

Chat: New Adult Romance
Speakers: Brenna Aubrey, Sophie Jordan, Molly McAdams, and Katy Regnery
Best-selling authors discuss the new adult romance subgenre.

 

First Time for Everything (CRAFT)
Speaker: Tessa Dare
Romances are all about the “first times”: first meet, first kiss, first argument, and first confessions of love, to name a few. In this workshop, best-selling and RITA-winning author Tessa Dare will share strategies for taking the emotion in your manuscripts to the next level by setting unique hurdles for your characters.

 

The Five Key Strategies That Launched My Six-Figure Indie Career (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Elena Aitken, Angie Fox, Steena Holmes, and Kristen Painter
You don’t have to be an indie star to make six figures in indie publishing, but a solid plan can make all the difference. Learn five key strategies to take your career to the next level.
 

Putting the LOL in Your WIP: A Humor Toolbox for Romance Authors (CRAFT)
Speakers: Carolyn Crane (Annika Martin) and LB Gregg
Think you have to be born funny to be funny? Think again. This workshop is designed to give writers of all romance subgenres tools they can use to write funnier books, punchier scenes, or just wittier or more relatable characters.

 

Spotlight on Grand Central Publishing, Forever, and Forever Yours

 

The Total Package (CAREER)
Speaker: Melissa Cutler
This interactive workshop will walk participants through the process of writing queries and synopses, as well as offer tips on polishing their writing sample so their submission package will stand out from the slush pile.

 

Writing Conflict That Will Keep Readers Turning the Pages and Make Your Book an Unputdownable Novel (CRAFT)
Speaker: Joan Johnston
Learn how to keep readers turning the pages by putting your characters in terrible trouble—and keeping them there! 

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Beyond Almack’s: Writing, Researching, and Marketing Your Non-Regency Historical Romance (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Alyssa Cole, Piper Huguley, Chanta Jefferson Rand, Beverly Jenkins, and Genevieve Turner
The popularity of a different kind of historical romance is on the rise as readers search for exciting new settings and characters. In this workshop, we’ll share our tips and techniques for writing, researching, and marketing ancient world, non-European, and other types of non-Regency romance.

 

Frame Your Scene, Build Your Story: The Art of Layering (CRAFT)
Speaker: Lori Freeland
Putting the story in our heads down on paper can sometimes leave gaps, but deliberate planning can fill those holes. Learn how to lay the groundwork by starting with a three-part structure that sets the scene, moves the story, and hooks the reader to turn the page.

How to Leverage the Power of NOOK Press (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speaker: Sarah Dickman and H.M. Ward
Join Sarah Dickman, senior manager of business operations, and author H.M. Ward, author of 21 New York Times bestsellers and 12 million books sold, to learn about opportunities for in-store distribution and events at Barnes & Noble’s retail stores. This in-depth talk will discuss maximizing revenue, best practices for NOOK Press, and new NOOK merchandising initiatives designed to reach readers in whatever format they read.

 

How to Sustain and Advance an Established Indie Career (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Melody Anne, Barbara Freethy, and Christie Ridgway
Attend this advanced session to learn about strategically working a backlist catalog, finding new streams of income for older books, enhanced editions, and finding new opportunities for promotion and advertising.

 

On Being Social (CAREER)
Speaker: Rachel Hollis
Grow your social media presence and create a loyal online fan base with practical and achievable tips from author and social media and lifestyle guru Rachel Hollis. Learn how to engage followers in a genuine way that leads to fan interaction and book sales! Attendees will walk away from this talk feeling empowered with practical and achievable tips.

 

Spotlight on Harlequin Series

 

Spotlight on Pocket and Gallery

 

Susan & Jayne’s Excellent Adventure: In Which We Tell You 10 Things We Learned the Hard Way So You Won’t Have to Repeat the Same Learning Curve (CAREER)
Speakers: Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Q&A with New York Times best-selling authors Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Ann Krentz, who will give practical tips, advice, guidance and share gossip about the publishing journey.

 

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

 

Building a Powerful Author Brand (CAREER)
Speakers: Laura Bradford, Erin Galloway, Angela James, and Michelle Renaud
An author’s brand helps convey what the author has to offer the readers; it helps grow the fan base; and it factors in a publisher’s consideration of the manuscript. Bringing together a panel of experts that includes editors, a PR expert, and an agent, this session offers multiple perspectives and real-life examples to cover the practical aspects of building a powerful and effective author brand.

 

Chat: Paranormal Romance
Speakers: Heather Graham, Nalini Singh and Rebecca Zanetti
Best-selling authors discuss the paranormal romance subgenre.

 

Creating Transformative Characters (CRAFT)
Two Hours
Speaker: Michael Hauge
At the center of every great story—and certainly every great romance—is a unique and empathetic protagonist. But essential to this character are the primary characters that surround her. Discover how to create characters that are essential to the protagonist’s transformation from living in fear to living courageously.

 

The Critical and Elusive Baseline (CRAFT)
Speaker: Mallory Braus
From the very first page, understanding the character is critical to forging an intimate connection between the story and the reader. Yet, this is the most common element missing from a successful story. In this interactive workshop, the speaker will discuss why the baseline is so essential to building story elements.

 

Juggling Pets, Husbands, Kids, and Jobs: Effective Time Management for the Part-Time Writer (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Caridad Piñeiro
Too many writers have to juggle family, friends, and work while pursuing their dream. New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Caridad Piñeiro will discuss how to manage your time in a more efficient way and how to optimize the time you spend writing.

 

Spotlight on Avon

 

 

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

 

Creating Transformative Characters (CRAFT)
Continued
Speaker: Michael Hauge
At the center of every great story—and certainly every great romance—is a unique and empathetic protagonist. But essential to this character are the primary characters that surround her. Discover how to create characters that are essential to the protagonist’s transformation from living in fear to living courageously.

 

Letting “Mad Men” Write Your Synopsis (CRAFT)
Speaker: Laurie Schnebly
Creating a successful outline of any book, whether it’s already written or in the proposal stages, requires the same techniques as writing a successful ad. Discover how to apply time-tested advertising principles to the art of clarifying your story and writing a selling synopsis, a sales tool that displays your product in its very best light.

 

Not Your Mama’s Character Descriptions (CRAFT)
Speaker: Margie Lawson
This power-packed workshop provides writers with hands-on tools for making character descriptions fresh. Learn the top ten tips for writing fresh character descriptions using style, structure, and strategy.

 

Preorder Strategies for More Successful E-book Launches (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speaker: Mark Coker
Imagine you could press a magic button that would make your next book launch more successful. The magic button is real, and it’s called the e-book preorder. Learn proven tips, tricks and strategies for reaching more romance readers with ebook preorders.

 

Spotlight on Crimson Romance

 

Take a Peek Behind the Screen with Film Director Laurie Kahn (Love Between the Covers) (CHAT)
Speaker: Laurie Kahn
Come learn how Love Between the Covers was made, and ask the director any questions you’ve got!

 

Writing through Chronic Illness: Winning the War (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Mary Behre, Lynn Cahoon, Janet Clementz, and Kristal Hollis
A panel of award-winning and best-selling authors join an editor for a frank discussion about how they cope with everything from cervical spinal stenosis to breast cancer to caring for a chronically ill loved one while keeping up with a demanding writing schedule.

 

 

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

 

Meditate and Create (WRITER’S LIFE)
Two Hours
Speakers: John Stockberger and Sandra Vanatko
Learn to quiet the mind, tap into your inner intuition and fire up your creative spark. This two hour workshop includes light yoga grounding exercises, mantra, guided meditation, breath work and journaling.Please wear comfy clothing and bring a journal or notebook. First thirty people get a free yoga mat or blanket.

 


 

Saturday, July 16

 

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

 

Beyond the Furrowed Brow: Letting Your Characters Speak Non-Verbally (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jennifer Carole Lewis
This workshop explores the different ways people express emotions and intent using facial expressions and body posture.

 

Chapter Treasurer Seminar
Speakers: Allison Kelley and Donna MacMeans
Chapter treasurers are invited to join RWA's treasurer and executive director to discuss legal and tax issues and important facts and tips  for managing chapter finances.

 

Chat: Historical Romance
Speakers: Alyssa Cole, Jade Lee and Julia Quinn
Best-selling authors discuss the historical romance subgenre.

 

Fast and Furious: Staying Productive When Life Gets in the Way (CAREER)
Speakers: HelenKay Dimon, Carol Ericson, Beverly Long, Julie Miller, and Angi Morgan
A panel of multipublished authors will explore the challenges of writing multiple books a year without sacrificing quality or losing their minds. There will be discussion about ways to increase production, balance conflicting deadlines, speed up edits, manage time and others’ expectations, and recognizing what is the “right” volume for any particular author.

 

Five Ways to Use Dreams to Keep the Words—and the Story—Flowing (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Paula Scardamalia
Wouldn’t it be great to never have to worry about writer’s block again? In this session, participants will learn five ways to use sleep dreams to keep the words flowing onto the page and the story moving forward. Come learn how to dream your happily ever after.

 

Love Story Close-Up: Hitch (CRAFT)
Two Hours
Speaker: Michael Hauge
Using the blockbuster romantic comedy Hitch as an example, Hauge will illustrate the principles of plot structure, character arc, love stories, romantic comedies, and theme. By showing selected clips from the film, he will reveal his unique approach to uniting a heroine’s inner and outer journeys in order to create powerful, three-dimensional characters and stories that will maximize readers’ emotional involvement in your novels.

 

Reaching New Global Readers and Optimizing Your Revenue with Kobo (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speaker: Mark Lefebvre
Join Mark Lefebvre, director of self-publishing & author relations at Kobo, as he walks through the next-level, advanced steps that are helping Kobo Writing Life authors continue to both grow their global customer base, reach new readers in new countries, and optimize their revenue in existing markets. Lefebvre will step through best-practices, in-depth market insights specific to romance, and information about customer demographics and reading data as well as answer the hard questions facing authors who are well beyond self-publishing 101.

 

The Secret Ingredient in a Page Turner (CRAFT)
Speaker: Mary Burton
What’s the top-secret component that makes a romance novel pop? For New York Times and USA Today best-selling romantic suspense author Mary Burton, the key is mystery and suspense—even in the most traditional romances. Adding tension involves a wide range of tried-and-true, nuanced techniques that can spice up any story and keep readers turning pages and coming back for more.

 

Villains, Deviants, and Killers: Inside the Criminal Mind (RESEARCH)
Two Hours
Speakers: Saranna DeWylde, Martin Hafer, Christy Jeffries, Karen Rose, and M. A. Taylor
A cop, a corrections officer, a psychotherapist, a probation officer, and a New York Times bestseller walk into a bar . . . and they want to have drinks with you. Okay, not drinks, but something better: A round-table discussion about their experiences with serial killers, psychopaths, and other deviants that make for either disturbing party conversation or amazing antagonists in your novel. These professionals share their firsthand knowledge and experience to bring your characters to brilliant life.

 

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

Agents and the Self-Published/Hybrid Author: A Winning Combination (CAREER)
Speakers: Jennifer Ashley, Jill Marsal, Bob Mecoy, and Lexi Post
A panel of New York Times best-selling authors and top-selling agents discuss the agent/author relationship in self-publishing, how it changes and evolves, what works well, what doesn’t, and why they feel the agent and hybrid/self-published author combination can be highly successful.

 

Conquering High Concept (CRAFT)
Speakers: May Chen, Sophie Jordan, and Sarah MacLean
Join an editor and best-selling authors as they demystify the term “high concept” and provide concrete examples of what it really means and provide techniques, tips, and tricks to keep your stories big, your writing sharp, and your manuscripts selling.

 

It’s Just Emotion (CRAFT)
Speaker: Elizabeth Hoyt
Emotion is the soul of the romance novel and the difference between an okay book and a book that stays in readers’ hearts forever. Find out how to dig deep and reveal the emotional soul to your book in this workshop with New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Hoyt.

 

Love Story Close-Up: Hitch (CRAFT)
Continued
Speaker: Michael Hauge
Using the blockbuster romantic comedy Hitch as an example, Hauge will illustrate the principles of plot structure, character arc, love stories, romantic comedies, and theme. By showing selected clips from the film, he will reveal his unique approach to uniting a heroine’s inner and outer journeys in order to create powerful, three-dimensional characters and stories that will maximize readers’ emotional involvement in your novels.

 

Spotlight on St. Martin’s Press

 

Villains, Deviants, and Killers: Inside the Criminal Mind (RESEARCH)
Continued
Speakers: Saranna DeWylde, Martin Hafer, Christy Jeffries, Karen Rose, and M. A. Taylor
A cop, a corrections officer, a psychotherapist, a probation officer, and a New York Times bestseller walk into a bar . . . and they want to have drinks with you. Okay, not drinks, but something better: A round-table discussion about their experiences with serial killers, psychopaths, and other deviants that make for either disturbing party conversation or amazing antagonists in your novel. These professionals share their firsthand knowledge and experience to bring your characters to brilliant life.

 

Write Smarter, Write Faster (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Cindy Kirk, Renee Ryan, and Nancy Robards Thompson
With ever increasing constraints on their time, writers must learn to maximize the time they spend plotting their book, writing the first draft and creating the finished product. This workshop will help writers at all stages of their career be more productive.

 

 

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

 

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Cue Author: You're on the Air and Fabulous! Tips to Giving a Stellar Interview (CAREER)
Speaker: Tina DeSalvo
Learn how to give a stellar radio, television, or social media interview. Taught by a broadcast journalist with 30-plus years’ experience, learn how to look professional and thinner, use a microphone properly, and many more tips!

 

The Ins and Outs of Successful Production and Scheduling (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Brenna Aubrey, Roxie Rivera, and Zoe York
Tips on self-publishing book production and scheduling for success.

 

Introduction to Facebook Ads (CAREER)
Speakers: Carolyn Jewel, Shawntelle Madison, and Jessica Scott
Hybrid authors who have used Facebook to dramatically change their writing careers introduce writers to the basics of Facebook advertising.

 

Make Them Melt: Mechanics and Metaphor of Writing Steamy Scenes (CRAFT)
Speaker: Heidi Joy Tretheway
Whether you intend your writing to be blush worthy or smokin’ hot, this workshop will help you add spice to your characters’ love lives. This workshop focuses on creating an intimacy ladder of physical experiences that draw the characters together, heightening sexual tension and satisfaction at each encounter.

 

Reporting for Duty: An Intimate Chat with the RomVets (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Grace Adams, Heather Ashby, Julia Day, Kim Lowe, Anna Richland, and Tamara Worlton
Air Force veterans, Navy veterans, an active duty Navy surgeon, and an Army veteran share their military experience to ensure military characters are accurately portrayed in romance novels. The panel will teach writers how to decipher military acronyms, identify ranks from the five services, and safely carry a weapon. There will be time for Q&A.

 

Situational Awareness: Staying Safe in an Unsafe World (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Silver James
Using frank discussion and hands-on demonstrations, the presenter will offer advice and solutions regarding personal safety at home, in public, and online. Participants will learn the importance of self-preparedness and practice exercises that can keep them safe until either they escape the situation or help arrives.

 

A Stronger Outline for a Stronger Story (CRAFT)
Speaker: Gabriela Pereira
In this workshop, the speaker debunks a major myth about outlines, shares her do-it-yourself MFA “secret sauce” formula for story structure, and walks writers through that formula using three different examples. Writers will leave the session with a clearer vision of their overall story plus techniques they can put into action right away.

 

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Chat: Romantic Suspense
Speakers: M.L. Buchman, HelenKay Dimon, Brenda Novak and Radclyffe
Best-selling authors discuss the romantic suspense subgenre.

 

Dressing the Part: Costuming Romantic Characters of the 19th Century, a Fashion Show (RESEARCH)
2 Hours

Speakers: Margaret Hagar, Sarah Richmond, and Lisa Root
Members of the San Diego Costume Guild will wear costumes representing romantic couples and others from the 19th century (Regency-Edwardian). The fashion showcase will highlight the 4 major silhouettes. It will include men and military uniforms.

 

Long-Term Strategies for Avoiding Burnout, Surviving Setbacks, and Vanquishing Foes (CAREER)
Speaker: Tanya Michaels
Learn from a six-time RITA finalist and author of approximately 50 books and novellas how to keep moving forward despite creative fatigue, an ever-changing publishing landscape, and occasional self-sabotage.

 

Rocking Reader Retention Rates: Using Tools and Engagement to Keep Readers Coming Back for More (CAREER)
Speakers: Brenna Aubrey and Cristin Harber
Best-selling authors share their strategies and tactics for maintaining reader engagement and commitment in between book releases with maximum return on investment.

 

Sex with the Terrible Trio (Well, You Know What We Mean) (CRAFT)
Speakers: Alyssa Day, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Kristan Higgins
A fun and interesting look at sex in romance novels from the differing perspectives of New York Times best-selling authors of historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.

 

Spotlight on Blushing Books

 

Tapping into an Editor’s Secret Desires: How to Get Your Manuscript Noticed (CAREER)
Speakers: Martin Biro, Patience Bloom, Cat Clyne, Birgit Davis-Todd, and Bryony Green
This global panel of editors bring their expertise from several publishing houses to give participants the inside scoop on what every writer needs to know to make their manuscript and themselves truly stand out to an acquiring editor. Editors will share the key elements they consider when deciding whether or not to acquire, including an author’s platform, writing potential, and professionalism.

 

Time Is Not on Your Side (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Elisabeth Barrett, Lia Riley, and Jennifer Ryan
Struggling to find or make writing time? This workshop is geared toward anyone struggling to eke out precious writing time from a full schedule. Expect a candid conversation about insights gained from the trenches on how to manage your writing amid the general mayhem of your daily life.

 

What Came Before: The Art of Backstory (CRAFT)
Speaker: Michelle Grajkowski and Winnie Griggs
Discover how to effectively select what pieces of backstory to include “on stage,” when to reveal them, and how to thread them through your story in a manner that’s not author intrusive. Includes discussion of seven specific methods and examples of each drawn from published works for illustrative purposes.

 

 

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

 

A Crash Course in Online Advertising (CAREER)
Speakers: Marissa Caldwell and Laurie Cooper
This workshop explores the world of advertising with a focus on effective and accessible online ad booking. Join Pub-Craft as they teach you how to book ads online, cultivate your own network of contacts, and engage in effective and affordable outreach and promotion. There will be time dedicated to Q&A at the end of the discussion.

 

Dressing the Part: Costuming Romantic Characters of the 19th Century, a Fashion Show (RESEARCH)
Continued
Speakers: Margaret Hagar, Sarah Richmond, and Lisa Root
Members of the San Diego Costume Guild will wear costumes representing romantic couples and others from the 19th century (Regency-Edwardian). The fashion showcase will highlight the 4 major silhouettes. It will include men and military uniforms.

 

The Mile-High Pitch (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jennifer McQuiston
Agents, publishers, and readers make quick decisions about whether or not to buy a book based on the one-line premise of what the story is about. High-concept ideas make it easy for them to make a decision. Learn what a “high-concept” idea is and why it’s so important in genre fiction and Hollywood.

 

Researching from the Sidelines: How to Research and Write Great Sports Romance (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Jaci Burton, Kate McMurray, and Tracy Solheim
How do you write a compelling athlete hero your readers will want to root for? Learn how to research athletes and professional sports to write accurate, realistic sports romances that are appealing to both sports fans and readers who aren’t familiar with the sports.

 

Spotlight on Entangled

 

The Sassy Writer’s Five-Minute Guide to Staying Young (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speakers: Pamela DuMond and Maggie Marr
This workshop will point out habits and postures that most of us don’t even think about until they cause pain and/or chronic health conditions. The Sassy Writer’s Five-Minute Guide to Staying Young will incorporate quick exercises/stretches and “brainstorm blasts” to your writing routine that help to prevent and alleviate back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, and many other physical perils of writing.

 

Web Serial Toolbox: Why and How to Serialize Your Fiction Online (SELF-PUBLISHING)
Speaker: Cecilia Tan
Serialized fiction is an old art form with a twenty-first century medium: the Internet. This workshop will discuss not only why, but how, to run a Web serial, the pros and cons of serializing your fiction online, ways to publicize and monetize your serial, and much more.

 

Young Adult Firsts: Crafting the Sassy, Swoony, Sorrowful, and (Sometimes) Sexy Teen Romance (CRAFT)
Speakers: Patty Blount, Ally Carter, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, and Lea Nolan
Young-adult books are all about the firsts: the first kiss, first love, first heartbreak, and sometimes the first time. Join this panel of young-adult authors as they discuss how they construct these first milestones and make them believable for characters in young-adult novels.

 

 

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

 

Black Moments: Make Them Earn Their Happily Ever After (CRAFT)
Speaker: Lisa Kessler
The happily ever after readers crave is only as good as the black moment is dark. This workshop will examine conflicts and how to bring them to a breathtaking peak to have readers breathlessly turning the pages.

 

Plotting for Sales: Get to Plot Points in One Hour (CRAFT)
Speaker: Cathy Yardley
In this one-hour interactive discussion, a volunteer from the audience will get a plot session: a walk-through of how to go from GMC to a full set of plot points. 

 

The Game’s Afoot: Mystery/Suspense Techniques to Intrigue, Deceive, and Delight Your Reader (CRAFT)
Speaker: Colleen Thompson
In this craft-oriented workshop, RITA-nominated author Colleen Thompson shares techniques authors of any subgenre can adapt to create a more involving, surprising, and engaging story. Topics include laying down clues, developing red herrings, using MacGuffins, and misdirecting reader attention while “playing fair” with the reader.

 

The Kiss of Bliss (WRITER’S LIFE)
Speaker: Sheley Rayne Wimmer
The Kiss of Bliss is an integrative workshop that uses collaborative brainstorming to help figure out how to knock down obstacles or limitations and move us closer to our dreams.

 

The Other Side of the Career Coin: An Agentless Guide to (Traditional) Publishing (CAREER)
Speaker: Marie Harte
How to write for a living in today’s traditional and indie markets without an agent.